Remarks by Ambassador Warren W. Tichenor
28 September 2008
Friends – Good evening, and welcome to Villa Tatiana. This evening we are honored to pay special tribute to the many contribution Muslims have made in my own country, in yours and to our world. We join in wishing you and Muslims around the world, “Ramadan Mubarak.”
According to the teachings of Islam, Ramadan commemorates the revelation of God’s word in the Holy Koran to the prophet Mohammad. The word has become the foundation for one of the world’s great religions. Today more than a billon Muslims around the globe celebrate the month of Ramadan with daily fasting, heartfelt prayer, and acts of charity.
One of the great pleasures for me in preparing for this dinner is the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of this holy month. More than one billion people find comfort and hope in Islam, and Ramadan inspires them to renew their faith through sacrifice and prayer, reflection and charity. People of all faiths can appreciate Ramadan’s spirit, one of love for family, devotion to community and gratitude toward God.
During Ramadan, we are reminded of Islam’s long and distinguished history. Throughout the centuries, the Islamic world has been home to great centers of learning and culture. Muslim thinkers and scientists have advanced the frontiers of human knowledge. People of all faiths have benefited from the achievements of Muslims in fields from philosophy and poetry to mathematics and medicine, and that continues to the present day.
One of the great strengths in our nation of the United States is its religious diversity. Americans practice and respect many different faiths. But we all share a belief in the right to worship freely. We reject bigotry in all its forms. And we are proud to work closely with Muslim Americans to promote justice, tolerance and understanding of all faiths.
We’ve also partnered with Muslims around the world to spread freedom to millions of people who have never known it before. We’re helping the people of Iraq and Afghanistan build free societies after decades of tyranny. And during the month of reflection, we will remember all the brave Muslim Americans who wear the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. They represent the best of our nation.
As we break the fast tonight, let us give thanks for all those who serve a cause greater than themselves. Let us give thanks for the many ways that Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world have enriched our lives.
I thank you for joining us tonight. You all are the bearers of a great faith, a religion of peace and love. And your work ensures that an already rich civilization continues to grow. I wish you all a blessed Ramadan. Thank you again.
And again, Ramadan Kareem.