- The Washington Times - Friday, August 21, 2009

Continuing his administration’s outreach efforts to the Islamic world, President Obama has recorded a video greeting to Muslims as they begin the annual holy season of Ramadan.

“These rituals remind us of the principles we hold in common and of Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings,” said Mr. Obama in the video.

Mr. Obama offered a much-noted similar message of friendship in a Web video to mark Nowruz, the Iranian new year. earlier this year.

The video was first posted in a WhiteHouse.gov blog by Rashad Hussain, deputy associate White House counsel.

Click here to see the video.

“As the new crescent moon ushers in Ramadan, the president extends his best wishes to Muslim communities in the United States and around the world,” Mr. Hussain wrote.

Mr. Hussain said over the course of the holy month the White House will “highlight the perspectives of various faiths on fasting and profile faith-based organizations making real impacts in American cities and towns.”

He noted Mr. Obama’s June speech in Cairo that sought to establish a “new beginning” for relations between the United States and the Islamic world.

“As a part of that new beginning, the president emphasizes that our relationship with Muslim communities cannot be based on political and security concerns alone,” he wrote.

“True partnerships also require cooperation in all areas particularly those that can make a positive difference in peoples daily lives, including education, science and technology, health, and entrepreneurship - fields in which Muslim communities have helped play a pioneering role throughout history,” Mr. Hussain said. “As this dialogue continues and leads to concrete actions, the president extends his greetings on behalf of the American people.”

The holiday is marked with a month of fasting from dawn, to sunset when Muslims break their fast with a prayer.

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