On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I want to extend our best wishes to Muslims in America and around the world. Ramadan Kareem.
Ramadan is a time when Muslims around the world reflect upon the wisdom and guidance that comes with faith, and the responsibility that human beings have to one another, and to God. This is a time when families gather, friends host iftars, and meals are shared. But Ramadan is also a time of intense devotion and reflection -- a time when Muslims fast during the day and pray during the night; when Muslims provide support to others to advance opportunity and prosperity for people everywhere. For all of us must remember that the world we want to build -- and the changes that we want to make -- must begin in our own hearts, and our own communities.
These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam's role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings. Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality. And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country. And today, I want to extend my best wishes to the 1.5 billion Muslims around the world -- and your families and friends -- as you welcome the beginning of Ramadan.
I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.
May God's peace be upon you.