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Trump to host Ramadan 'iftar' dinner at White House on Wednesday

President Trump will host a White House iftar dinner this week in recognition of the conclusion of a month of fasting for Muslims during Ramadan. Trump did not hold the dinner last year, which is a White House tradition. This photo illustrates an iftar celebration. (Rawpixel/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump will host an iftar dinner at the White House on Wednesday in honor of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Politico reported.

The announcement marks a departure from last year, when Trump decided to not host the yearly tradition.

Who's going?

A White House official declined to make public the list of attendees for the dinner, according to published reports. In the past, attendees have included prominent members of the Muslim community, Congress members and Muslim diplomats from other countries.

Muslims fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan. They break the fast with an evening meal, which is called iftar. The Muslim fast is done in recognition of the first revelation of the Quran to the Islamic prophet Muhammad, according to their beliefs.

Last month, Trump issued a statement that said, “Ramadan reminds us of the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life.”

Trump has had a strained relationship with the Muslim community. While campaigning for president, he called for a "total and complete" ban on Muslims entering the United States. While in office, Trump has restricted the entry of citizens from several Muslim-majority countries.

But during his first trip abroad, Trump spoke before the leaders of 55 Muslim-majority nations, asking that everyone come together to fight terrorism.

How long has this been a tradition?

The White House was criticized last year for failing to host the annual iftar dinner. Former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all continued the decades-long tradition.

Obama went as far as admonishing what he called a “rise in attacks against Muslim Americans."

"Muslim Americans have been part of our American family since its founding," Obama said.

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