Obama hosts Ramadan dinner at White House

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By STACY A. ANDERSON, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is saluting Muslim Americans for their contributions in helping build the nation as business entrepreneurs, technology innovators and pioneers in medicine.

Obama spoke at a White House dinner he hosted Thursday to celebrate the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The meal, or iftar, breaks the day of fasting when Muslim families and communities eat together after sunset.

Obama said Ramadan is, quoting, "a time of reflection, a chance to demonstrate ones devotion to God through prayer and through fasting, but it's also a time for family and friends to come together."

He said the White House tradition is to celebrate sacred days of various faiths, adding that these occasions celebrate diversity that defines the country and reaffirms the freedom to worship.

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