US President Donald Trump, who had called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States”, in a statement on Tuesday lauded “the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life.”
Trump’s statement issued to mark the start of the holy month of Ramazan is in marked contrast to his past comments on Muslims.
“With the rising of tonight’s moon, I send my greetings and best wishes to all Muslims observing Ramazan in the United States and around the world,” he said in the statement.
“During the holy month of Ramazan, Muslims commemorate the revelation of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through fellowship and prayer. Many observe this holy time by fasting, performing acts of charity, reciting prayers, and reading the Holy Quran,” he continued.
The US president added that Muslims observing Ramazan strengthen communities, help the needy and serve as examples of how to live a religious life.
“Ramazan reminds us of the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life. In the United States, we are all blessed to live under a Constitution that fosters religious liberty and respects religious practice,” said Trump, who is still trying to impose a travel ban on people from Muslim-majority nations of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
Trump has faced criticism for his comments on Muslims and calls for bans on them entering the country since he entered the 2016 presidential campaign.