May 13, 2019
(As prepared for delivery)
Thank you for joining us for this Iftar to commemorate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Today, more than ever, the values of Ramadan – resilience, peace, and harmony – are of great importance for all of us here and for our Muslim friends in Italy, the United States, and around the world.
Ramadan is an opportunity to remember the value of religious diversity and religious freedom. Tonight we welcome friends of many faiths at Villa Taverna to emphasize the need to work together, continue the dialogue and promote tolerance. We are also grateful to the representatives of the government who are with us today to share in this celebration. Throughout this month, many mosques and homes in the United States welcome their neighbors to unite under our common American values of equality and charity.
Ramadan is also a special time to take care of each other. In the last month, there have been attacks on places of worship across the world. There are serious challenges to the ability to freely practice one’s faith. But there is also good news. Here in Italy, a few months ago, a Muslim student heroically saved many young lives by calling for help when a group of children were trapped in a burning bus. Gestures like this show us the importance of having the courage to help others.
As President Trump said in his Ramadan message: “We all have an opportunity to reflect on the blessings we have been given and to work toward greater fellowship with one another. Together, in the spirit of Ramadan, we can achieve a more harmonious and respectful society.”
Before I conclude, I would like to welcome some young representatives from the Muslim community in Italy. They are journalists, doctors, professors and students. They are working to make a difference in their communities and contribute to the growth of this country. We want to grow with them as we continue to strengthen our relationship with our long-time friends and partners.
Thank you again for being here on this special evening. Ramadan Kareem.