While celebrating the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr at the White House on Monday night (local time), United States President Joe Biden raised a few eyebrows when he asked a guest to be quiet by saying, "Hush up, boy." At the festive Ramadan gathering, the US President playfully hinted that his speech would be the “quickest speech I ever made in my life” before the evening prayers at 6 pm.
An unidentified audience member continued to talk over the US president prompting Biden to quip, “You want to come and make a speech?”
“‘Hush up, boy,’ as my mother would say.”
The flashpoint came after the attendee had called out to Biden, “We also have the first federal judge — Muslim federal judge. The only one”. “Hey, Judge, how are you?” Biden dutifully replied.
“I don’t know why you wanted the job, man. I appoint all those federal judges, but, you know, thank you for serving. I’m not kidding.”
Biden praised Ramadan as “a time to slow down, reconnect, and remember what matters most.”
It was great to host a reception celebrating Eid al-Fitr at the White House today.— President Biden (@POTUS) May 2, 2023
Folks, I hope you had a blessed Ramadan and happy Eid.
And thank you for your community spirit, contributions to our nation, and commitment to the shared values that make America great. pic.twitter.com/PXFvNNuEQk
“Today, there are 3.5 million of you in the United States,” he said, addressing a crowd gathered in the East Room. “You come from different ethnicities, races, speak different languages, but you're united all as Americans.”
US Vice President Kamala Harris was also in attendance.
Biden remarked on the community's many contributions to the country, from superheroes in film, food and clothing, as well as the military and diplomatic service. “There are more Muslims and Muslim Americans serving in Congress today than ever in American history,” he said.
The President added it was great for “democracy when Congress looks like America”.
During the event celebrating Eid al-Fitr, President Biden identified two Muslim Congress members, Andre Carson and Ilhan Omar, who were present at the White House gathering. Eid al-Fitr is a holiday that signifies the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and it is celebrated by sharing meals and spending time with family.
This year, two cities in Michigan declared Eid al-Fitr as a public holiday, and there are ongoing efforts in other US cities to make it a school holiday as well.
The Muslim-American community has faced persistent Islamophobia since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in New York and Washington.
“We're determined to confront all forms of hate, including Islamophobia, which is important to me [and] this is a priority for my administration,” Biden said, “which is why I established an emergency task force to address attacks on Muslims and anti-Muslim bias and discrimination. “Standing up against anti-Muslim hate is essential to who we are.”
Muslim culture has been woven throughout American culture from the very start.— President Biden (@POTUS) May 2, 2023
We must always stand against anti-Muslim hate. And stand up for the rights and dignity of all people.
It's essential to who we are: a nation founded on the idea of freedom and justice for all.