The White House hosted its first iftar under the Trump Administration on Wednesday. President Trump upended the longstanding tradition last year when he cancelled the annual dinner (or breakfast), choosing instead to recognize Ramadan with a characteristically offensive letter, in which he not only spoke excessively about “terrorists and their perverted ideology,” but also failed to address American Muslims directly. The letter reflected Trump’s biases—perspectives he championed on the campaign trail and has since thrust into policy as president—as he sees Islam as inherently violent and views Muslims as foreign, and as fundamentally “un-American.” This second point is crucial: while the president’s immigration policies exclude foreign-born Muslims from the country, the administration has also worked to exclude American Muslims from the national picture. Yes, the White House hosted an iftar this year, but it has withheld invitations from American Muslims, with most of the guests being foreign ambassadors representing specific Muslim-majority countries. The Trump Administration will say they’ve extended a hand, or more specifically, that holding this iftar shows they do not hold anti-Muslim animus, but they’ve only done so in a way consistent with their exclusionary vision of Americanness. Because, keep in mind, the real reason for this week’s White House iftar is the nine people who were not among the 40 guests invited or the 52 people in attendance.

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