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28th October 2006

Washington DC:  Muslim Women’s Coalition was honored to be invited to the annual State Department Iftar Dinner on October 18th 2006.  It was noted with great enthusiasm that Muslim from all walks of life attended this event.  Under secretaries Karen Hughes and R. Nicholas Burns co-hosted this event in lieu of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.  Each welcomed Muslims to this blessed event by honoring women in Islamic History and highlighting the importance of religious diversity and interfaith in the United States. 

Both the Under Secretaries welcomed and wished Muslims “Ramadan Kareem” in the beautiful Benjamin Franklin room at the State Department on the blessed night of Lailaltul Qadar.  Karen Hughes remarked on the importance of this night when the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings upon him).  She said it is also known as a night of power and forgiveness and a night that is described in the Holy Qur’an as “a night that is better than 1000 months.” 

In her opening remarks she said:  “Tonight we remember and honor the many women throughout Islamic history who have led by example,” Hughes told the guests, who included Muslim women from academia, government and civil society. “As so many of you know, Islam granted legal status and protections to women long before many other cultures did. Women including Khadija, the Prophet Muhammad's wife, a successful businesswoman herself, and her daughter Fatima are examples of the rich heritage of leadership by Muslim women.”

Under Secretary R. Nicholas Burns spoke about the “sincerity of belief” of Muslims and the spirit of community and faith that characterized this dinner.  The sense of welcome and tolerance toward Muslims in general was felt in the room by all present as Undersecretary Burns pointed out that there were 80 different Muslim Countries represented in the US with 1, 200 Mosques.  He also spoke on the “value of interfaith dialogue as a means of achieving greater understanding and social harmony.”

MWC applauds the State Department for extending the good will gesture of diplomacy, tolerance and sincerity towards the Muslim community at large by celebrating Ramadan with them at the State Dep. Iftar Dinner.  It presented a great opportunity for all present, especially the Muslim women journalists, activists, foreign exchange students and community leaders to come together and exchange ideas about strengthening the communities they lived in.


For more on Iftar Dinner speeches by Under Secretaries Karen Hughes and Nicholas Burns, visit:



Uzma Farooq

Director and Vice President

Muslim Women’s Coalition

For the Greater Washington DC Area.




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