Rep. Conyers hosts Ramadan Iftar on Capitol Hill
Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) last night hosted a Ramadan iftar, or fast breaking, on Capitol Hill attended by more than 130 elected officials, congressional staffers, American Muslim leaders, and ambassadors from Islamic-majority nations.
The iftar, held in the House Judiciary Committee Hearing Room, was co-sponsored by Reps. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), and Barbara Lee (D-CA). It featured the breaking of the fast, the Islamic sunset prayer (maghrib), an ecumenical prayer, and remarks by Rep. Conyers.
In his remarks, Rep. Conyers said: “Welcome, everyone, to our first ever Ramadan Iftar, where we join our Muslim brothers and sisters in breaking the fast. I am also pleased to announce that we plan to hold this important event every year, and look forward to doing so with CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations)”¦By partaking in this religious tradition, we hope to promote the toleration, understanding, and acceptance of all religions and religious cultures and to celebrate religious diversity, one of the many great principles that our country was founded upon.” (See full text below.)
In her prayer prior to the iftar meal, Afeefa Syeed, the head of Al-Fatih Academy in Herndon, Va., said: “Guide us, Oh Lord, to know that unity is not a luxury or a choice. Help us learn that we must raise our children in a land that embraces all who seek righteousness, decency, and steadfastness. Freedom is our most precious heritage – help us to be passionate in its perseverance and practice.” (See full text below.)
“We thank Representative Conyers for his leadership in building a positive relationship between elected officials and the American Muslims community,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). CAIR helped facilitate the event and provided the iftar meal.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 25 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.