US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has rejected a request to host a Ramadan event at the state department in Washington D.C.,
breaking with a 20-year-old tradition observed by both democrats and republicans.
Tillerson issued a statement on Friday to mark the start of Ramadan calling it "a month of reverence, generosity, and self-reflection". However, he turned down a request from the state department's office of religion and global affairs to host a reception as part of Ramadan celebrations.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump wished all Muslims a joyful Ramadan. In his first first statement commemorating Ramadan as President Trump expressly referenced this week's terrorist attacks in Manchester and Egypt, saying the barbaric terrorist attacks were directly contrary to "the spirit of Ramadan." The President said Ramadan strengthened awareness of a shared obligation to reject violence and pursue peace.
British Prime Minister Theresa May also released a Ramadan message commemorating the arrival of the month and sending best wishes to all Muslims in Britain and across the world.
Ramadan is a unique and special time for Muslims in Britain and around the world. Ramadan fosters a strong sense of community spirit, reflected in the way mosques open their doors and welcome people of all faiths and none to share in the iftar meal, something i have experienced in my own constituency of maidenhead. it is an important chance for people from all walks of life to meet together, discuss and share experiences with their neighbors, and to increase familiarity and foster friendships. This Ramadan, let us celebrate the way in which "this festival of peace, reflection and religious devotion brings people closer together." and let us say to Muslims here in Britain and across the world, Ramadan Kareem, the statement said.