Wall Street Journal reporter Vivian Salama tweeted live on Wednesday of an event at the White House celebrating the Muslim holiday of Ramadan – and one tweet in particular took the internet by storm.
Salama’s tweets contained a photo of three White House chefs cooking an iftar dinner. Throughout Ramadan, Muslims fast between sunrise and sunset, and iftar is the evening meal that follows a prayer that ends the fast.
And seeing the photo, the internet went wild.
So who exactly is this guy?
His name is Andre Rush and he is a retired army master sergeant. According to Salama, he is “a master chef trained in classical plating, pastry making, cake decorating and a master ice sculptor.”
The chamois leader was one of the less controversial moments of the day, which drew criticism from many in the Muslim community, citing President Donald Trump’s rhetoric and actions against Muslims and other religious minorities and racial.
“I wasn’t invited to the White House iftar, but I wouldn’t attend if I was,” Dalia Mogahed, research director at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, told CNN. “Attending this event, especially during the holy month, a time of introspection and spiritual growth, would in my opinion be inappropriate as it would seem to normalize the behavior of this administration. “
Last year, Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos posted by a British far-right political group, and Trump once indicated he would be prepared to set up a database to track Muslims in the United States. United.
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Hate crimes targeting American Muslims rose 15% in 2017, a second consecutive year with a sharp increase, according to a report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. CAIR attributed this increase in part to Trump’s policies, particularly restrictions on immigration from majority Muslim countries.
“CAIR’s 2018 Civil Rights Report provides concrete evidence that the unconstitutional ban on Muslims has resulted in more Islamophobic hatred and violence,” said Zainab Arain, author of the report and the group’s research and advocacy coordinator. .
This is the first year that the Trump administration has hosted an iftar dinner. Every president since Bill Clinton has hosted an iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan, but Trump didn’t hold one last year.