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President Obama Hosts Ramadan Dinner

What are you doing tonight? President Obama will be celebrating the Islamic faith. From The Hill:

President Obama will host an iftar — the special evening meal observed during Ramadan — on Friday night in the White House dining room.

Ramadan began on Wednesday and will end around Sept. 10.

Obama participated in a similar gathering last year.

Celebrations like iftar dinners “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,” Obama wrote in a statement Wednesday.

“Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality … a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.”

The dinner comes amid a growing controversy over the proposed construction of an Islamic cultural center in downtown Manhattan, near the site of the World Trade Center.

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