The event was attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps, elected representatives, and Muslim community leaders from across the country. Several members of the Ismaili community, including White House and Congressional staff, civic engagement organization representatives, and Ismaili Council for the USA leadership were also in attendance.
During his remarks, President Biden stated: “And the resilience of Muslim Americans enriching the fabric of this nation is testament of the Qur'an’s teachings, ‘We have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another’… Our differences should not be obstacles that divide us but opportunities to learn from one another.”
The sentiment expressed by the President echoes remarks often made by Mawlana Hazar Imam, for example, at the Jodidi Lecture at Harvard University, where he said that “…diversity is not a burden to be endured, but an opportunity to be welcomed.”
The President went on to recognize the courage and commitment of Muslim frontline workers and first responders, and “the brilliant Muslim scientists who helped pioneer the technology for COVID-19 vaccine.” He also affirmed that Muslim Americans, are “making invaluable cultural and economic contributions to communities all across the nation.”
While attending the event, Ismaili Council for the USA President Al-Karim Alidina and Vice President Celina Charania Shariff also met with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff and Josh Dickson, Senior Advisor, Public Engagement at the White House, and discussed opportunities for collaboration and partnership based on shared priorities of inclusivity, pluralism, and civic engagement.
The Eid festival marks the culmination of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims turn inwards through fasting and spiritual devotion, and outwards through acts of kindness and compassion.