Press Releases

CAIR Director Attends State Department Ramadan Iftar

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful


(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/25/05) – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tonight hosted the State Department’s seventh annual “Iftar,” or Ramadan fast-breaking dinner, in
Washington, D.C. The dinner took place after sunset, in accordance with Islamic practices. Muslim participants broke the fast with water and dates before performing
their sunset prayers. (Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset.)

Those in attendance at the dinner included Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), as well as representatives
of other local and national Muslim organizations, Muslim students, diplomats from Islamic countries, and State Department officials.

In her remarks, Secretary Rice reflected on the meaning of Ramadan and thanked Muslims for their generosity in donating to relief for victims of Hurricane Katrina and the
recent earthquake in South Asia. She also spoke about the need to promote universal human rights and mentioned the legacy of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, who died Monday at
the age of 92. SEE: “Rice Welcomes Muslim Generosity as Reflection of Ramadan Spirit” (Scroll down to headline.)

After dinner, Awad informed Secretary Rice about CAIR’s announcement today of a “Rosa Parks Civil Liberties Scholarship” for students studying in fields that promote civil
rights, social justice and peaceful resolution of conflicts. SEE: “CAIR Announces Scholarship to Honor Rosa Parks”

“These types of events represent a growing recognition of the positive role Islamic teachings and American Muslims can play in helping to promote peace and justice in this
country and around the world,” said Awad. “We appreciate Secretary Rice’s efforts to reach out and dialogue with American Muslim leaders.”

CAIR has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American
Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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