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COMING UP:Share Opener Variant 4



>> The Trump administration this week has traveled to holy sites around the world, a trip which included significant outreach to Muslims. But any goodwill earned on this visit could be undercut after Reuters learned this week that America's top diplomat nixed plans to hold a reception for Ramadan, bucking a nearly 20 year tradition.
The Muslim holy month is marked by fasting during the day, meals at sundown called iftar, and culminates in a feast called eid.>>
> Since 1999, the US State Department has held some sort of event marking the holiday. But according to two officials, this year, Rex Tillerson has denied a request to do so, which could further strain an already fraught relationship between the administration and one of the world's major religions.
Reuters correspondent Yeganeh Torbati.>> The message that it might send for the administration, or for the State Department, to not host a Ramadan related event this year, especially one with the presence of the Secretary of State, or hosted by him, is that the administration, or at least Rex Tillerson, maybe doesn't care as much about reaching out to Muslims.
And that also, of course, is in the context of President Trump's own statements about Muslims, you might remember he called for a Muslim ban during the campaign. His travel ban has been held up in the courts and has been accused by critics of really being a defacto Muslim ban.
>> Despite the rhetoric, President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson Friday released statements honoring Ramadan. Tillerson writing that, quote, Ramadan is a month of reverence, generosity, and self-reflection. Trump also wishing Muslims a blessed month, but breaking with prior President's messages by referring to recent attacks committed in the name of Islam.
Noting, quote, barbaric terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and Egypt, acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan. A State Department spokesman telling Reuters that they are still exploring possible options for observance of eid.