President Barack Obama had a message for Muslim Americans preparing to observe the beginning of Ramadan on Sunday: He’ll protect them from people like Donald Trump who threaten their religious liberties.
In an official statement, Obama said America would continue to welcome immigrants and refugees, despite “the voices that seek to divide us.”
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Obama’s official statement on the start of Ramadan, a monthlong holiday observed by Muslims through fasting during daylight hours, did not mention Trump by name, but the president’s remarks clearly seemed to be a swipe at the presumptive GOP nominee.
“I stand firmly with Muslim American communities in rejection of the voices that seek to divide us or limit our religious freedoms or civil rights,” the president said in the statement. “I stand committed to safeguarding the civil rights of all Americans no matter their religion or appearance. I stand in celebration of our common humanity and dedication to peace and justice for all.”
Obama said he looks forward to hosting Muslims at the White House as the monthlong observation concludes in July.
Trump on Sunday suggested that a Muslim judge may be biased against him in a Trump lawsuit because of his calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.
Those comments made on “Face the Nation” follow a week in which Trump has argued that an Indiana-born judge, Gonzalo Curiel, who is presiding over one of the Trump University lawsuits is biased against Trump because of his Mexican parentage, and therefore cannot make a fair ruling. Among other things, Trump has called for a wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico.