Videotaped Remarks of the President in Ramadan Message (11/22/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                            November 22, 2000

                            IN RAMADAN MESSAGE

     THE PRESIDENT:  It is a privilege to deliver again this year, on
behalf of the American people, a message of friendship and respect to
Muslims around the world as they begin the sacred month of Ramadan.

     As America's six-million-member Muslim community grows in numbers and
prominence, Americans of every religious tradition are learning more about
the origins and meaning of Islam.  That on "the Night of Power," the Angel
Gabriel appeared to the Prophet Muhammad and revealed to him the first
verses of the Koran.  That the Koran declares that Ramadan was the month
Allah's words were sent down, and so should be spent in fasting.

     The rigors undertaken by devout Muslims inspire respect for Islam
among people of all faiths.  And this can bring hope of greater
understanding for good will.  It can overflow old boundaries when
wholehearted devotion to one's own faith is matched with a devout respect
for the faith of others.

     That is why we welcome Islam in America.  It enriches our country with
Islam's teachings of self-discipline, compassion and commitment to family.
It deepens America's respect for Muslims here at home and around the world,
from Indonesia to Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa.

     We all had hoped that when this month's crescent moon first appeared
and the month of Ramadan was announced, fasting would begin in a time of
peace.  Yet, tragically, violence continues, and lives are being lost in
the land that is holy to Islam, Judaism and Christianity.    For all
Americans, these deaths are a source of great sorrow.  The Muslim chaplain
at Georgetown University, where I attended college, has told me of a verse
in the Koran in which Allah tells us that He created nations and tribes so
we may know one another, not so we might despise one another.

     As the fasting of Ramadan begins, I pray people of all faiths may come
to appreciate this precious wisdom of the Koran.  And when next month's
moon appears, and the Muslim world celebrates Eid al-Fitr, we may also
celebrate the revival of our hopes for peace throughout the world.  Ramadan


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