Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
In the above video of his remarks yesterday marking the beginning of Islam’s Ramadan season, President Barack Obama again demonstrates his determination to communicate to Muslims that he understands and sympathizes with their concerns and that he respects Islam as a major religion that makes a positive contribution to the world.
This same intent was affirmed earlier this year, in the major speech he gave to the world’s Muslims June 4 at Cairo University in Egypt.
Said Obama in his Ramadan message, “Like many people of different faiths who have known Ramadan through our communities and families, I know this to be a festive time — a time when families gather, friends host iftars, and meals are shared. But I also know that Ramadan is a time of intense devotion and reflection — a time when Muslims fast during the day and perform tarawih prayers at night, reciting and listening to the entire Koran over the course of the month.
“These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”
As a Catholic, I look forward to the president posting an equally positive video at the White House website applauding the merits of Catholicism at the beginning of our own penitential season of Lent next year.