It came as no surprise last year when Donald Trump’s White House broke with precedent and declined to host iftar, a dinner commemorating the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Trump has, to put it quite mildly, not been kind to Islam and its followers. So it’s way more shocking that this president—the one behind the Muslim Ban, who said in 2015 that “we have a problem in this country; it’s called Muslims”—quietly announced this week that the White House will host a Ramadan dinner.
Politico first reported the baffling news, which includes a statement by the White House: “Ramadan reminds us of the richness Muslims add to the religious tapestry of American life.” Uh, so which is it, pal? Giant Muslim problem or rich cultural tapestry? If you’re going to be a giant asshole, at least stick to your position for clarity’s sake.
And with the dinner scheduled for Wednesday night, Pacific Standard reports no one really knows who’s going to attend: “It’s not clear whether any Muslim-American community leaders will be at the White House to participate in the meal.” Prominent members of the Muslim-American community contacted by Pacific Standard all said they hadn’t been invited and were perplexed by the entire situation. It really wouldn’t surprise me if this whole Ramadan dinner was cancelled last-minute, or was set up as a trap to announce another round of immigration policy changes. Either way, tomorrow’s White House press briefing should be a hoot.