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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Biden highlights Gaza crisis in Eid al-Adha message

President Joe Biden used the occasion to highlight pressing international and domestic issues affecting Muslim communities.

As Muslims across the United States and the world celebrated Eid al-Adha, President Joe Biden used the occasion to highlight pressing international and domestic issues affecting Muslim communities. In a message released by the White House, Biden acknowledged the difficult circumstances faced by many Muslims globally and pledged his administration’s support in addressing these challenges.

Situation in Gaza

President Biden’s message came at a time when the conflict between Hamas and Israel has caused immense suffering in Gaza. Biden expressed deep concern over the high civilian toll, stating, “Too many innocent people have been killed, including thousands of children. Families have fled their homes and seen their communities destroyed. Their pain is immense.” He emphasized the U.S. commitment to ending the conflict, noting efforts to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza and support a ceasefire proposal backed by the UN Security Council.

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The president highlighted the three-phase ceasefire plan proposed by Israel and endorsed by the UN, which aims to pause the fighting initially for six weeks to allow for humanitarian relief. Despite some progress, the ceasefire has not been fully implemented, and airstrikes continue to devastate Gaza. Biden urged all parties to commit to the ceasefire to alleviate the suffering of innocent civilians.

Global Muslim Communities in Conflict

Biden also addressed the plight of other Muslim communities facing persecution and violence. He mentioned the Rohingya in Myanmar, who have been subjected to severe human rights abuses, and the victims of the ongoing conflict in Sudan. “They, like all people, deserve to live free from violence and fear,” Biden stated, reaffirming his administration’s dedication to advocating for their rights and seeking peaceful resolutions to these conflicts.

Commitment to Countering Islamophobia

On the domestic front, President Biden highlighted his administration’s commitment to tackling Islamophobia in the United States. Acknowledging the rise in hate crimes and discrimination against Muslims, Biden announced a national strategy to counter Islamophobia and related forms of bias and discrimination. “Hate has no place in America, whether it is targeted at American Muslims, Arab Americans including Palestinians, or anyone else,” he affirmed.

This initiative aims to protect not only Muslims but also Arab, Sikh, and South Asian Americans who have been disproportionately affected by hate crimes. Biden’s emphasis on this issue reflects the growing concerns of American Muslims and his efforts to secure their support ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

Eid Celebrations and Solidarity

Despite the somber backdrop of ongoing conflicts, Muslims in the United States gathered to celebrate Eid al-Adha with special prayers and community events. In New York, large congregations took place at the Islamic Centre and other venues, with diplomats and community leaders participating. Imams voiced their concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and called for international efforts to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians.

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In areas with significant Muslim populations, such as Brooklyn, prayers were offered for the well-being of communities in Palestine and Kashmir, and for the progress of their homelands. These gatherings highlighted the solidarity among Muslim communities and their resolve to support those facing oppression and hardship.