July 10, Washington, DC—A group of Muslim Americans are planning an action on Monday, July 14 at 7:00pm at the White House to draw attention to ongoing U.S. government policies that have disproportionately impacted Muslim communities both here and abroad.
The solidarity action will coincide with the annual White House iftar dinner where Muslim Americans are invited to break their fast with the president, a tradition started by President Clinton. In a statement released on June 27, President Obama explained: “As I’ve done every year as President, I look forward to welcoming Muslim Americans from across the United States to the White House for an iftar dinner. It will be another opportunity for me to convey America’s appreciation for the contributions of Muslim Americans to our country and to wish Muslims around the world a month blessed with the joys of family, community, peace and understanding.”
As the iftar is happening, a group of Muslim American scholars, advocates, activists, and grassroots organizers will be gathering outside the White House in solidarity with victims of U.S. state violence ranging from Guantanamo Bay to Palestine.
Despite President Obama's numerous promises to close Guantanamo Bay prison, 12 years later, 150 prisoners are still languishing behind prison walls, many of whom have been cleared for release. In 2013, more than 100 prisoners launched a hunger strike that led to at least 40 detainees being force fed by military medical teams, a form of torture.
Israel, which receives $3 billion in U.S. military aid annually, has killed at least 85 Palestinians in its latest aggression, aggression that the White House has fully endorsed.
“The White House Iftar is a clear attempt to whitewash U.S. policies such as surveillance, indefinite detention, torture, and extrajudicial assassination that disproportionately affect Muslims,” said Maha Hilal, an organizer of the action. “We are calling on the Muslim Americans who are invited to not let themselves be used to cover up the continuation of the ‘War on Terror’ that has become very clearly a war on Muslims.”