Tillerson declines to host Ramadan event at State Department
- “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has declined a request to host an event to mark Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, two U.S. officials said, apparently breaking with a bipartisan tradition in place with few exceptions for nearly 20 years.”
- “Tillerson turned down a request from the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs to host an Eid al-Fitr reception as part of Ramadan celebrations, said two U.S. officials who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.”
- “When asked by Reuters to comment on Tillerson declining a request to host an Eid al-Fitr event in July for Ramadan, a State Department spokesperson said: “We are still exploring possible options for observance of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan. U.S. ambassadors are encouraged to celebrate Ramadan through a variety of activities, which are held annually at missions around the world.”
- “Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright started the tradition 18 years ago of America’s top diplomat hosting a public event for Ramadan, a lunar month.”
- “Reuters was told of the request being declined but did not see Tillerson’s reply. An official with the Office of Religion and Global Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.
- “Several prominent Muslim-American groups in the Washington area who are normally invited to the Ramadan event told Reuters this week that they had yet to receive an invitation from the State Department, which they said was unusual.”
- “White House officials did not respond to a request for comment on whether they would continue the tradition this year of hosting a Ramadan-related event at the White House.”