During his remarks on the close of the Muslim Ramadan season, U.S. President Barack Obama condemned the recent string of terrorist attacks and called for a sense of unity and solidarity.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the Islamic holy month Ramadan, traditionally observed with a month-long fast. According to International Business Times, when the new moon appears, Muslims around the world celebrate breaking the fast and reflect on the month of prayer.
In his annual Ramadan statement on July 6, Obama addressed Muslims in the United States and around the world, according to the White House transcript of his remarks. He began by discussing the diversity and cultural values of Muslim Americans, applauding their contributions to the nation.
The President then mentioned several high-profile killings that occurred during the month of June, including the attacks in Orlando, Florida; Istanbul; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Baghdad; and Medina, Saudi Arabia.
According to CNN, the month of Ramadan saw a shocking number of killings, most of which occurred in heavily Muslim cities. Many of the hundreds of civilians killed were Muslim.
Perhaps most significant for the world’s Muslims was the attack on Medina, home to the second holiest site in Islam. The city is where the Prophet Mohammed was buried and contains the Prophet’s Mosque, believed to have been built out of the mosque founded by Mohammed.
This attack on July 4, the third in Saudi Arabia in 24 hours, was considered by many to be "an assault on Islam itself," CNN reports.
Obama condemned the attacks as “senseless violence,” saying they “broke our hearts and tried our souls,” according to the transcript.
“No one should even feel afraid or unsafe in their place of worship,” he said, adding, “In the face of hate, it’s our American values and strength that bring us together.”
Obama said he looks forward to the Eid celebration he will be hosting in the White House later in July.
“This Eid, we recommit to protecting Muslim Americans against bigotry and xenophobia, while celebrating the contributions of Muslim Americans around the country," he said.