President Trump wished all Muslims a “joyful Ramadan” in a statement Friday, just hours before the start of the month-long Islamic holiday during which those observing fast from sunrise to sunset.
Though such statements are commonplace among American presidents, Trump’s remarks took on a markedly different tone than did those of his predecessors. While the statement, like those of presidents past, noted the “acts of charity and meditation” that define the holy month, it went on to focus on a topic that has been at the forefront of Trump’s first trip overseas as president: terrorism.
“This year, the holiday begins as the world mourns the innocent victims of barbaric terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and Egypt, acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan,” the White House statement reads, adding that “such acts only steel our resolve to defeat the terrorists and their perverted ideology.”
The president goes on to reminisce about his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, where he delivered a speech calling on leaders of 50 Muslim-majority countries to confront “the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires.” It was a theme Trump reiterated in his Ramadan greeting, in which he reaffirmed that “America will always stand with our partners against terrorism and the ideology that fuels it.”