Obama's Eid greeting to Muslims backfires

Twitter users criticize President Obama’s position on the Israeli military offensive on Gaza

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A White House message on Twitter wishing “Muslims in the United States and around the world a blessed and joyous celebration” of Eid al-Fitr on Monday sparked backlash over President Barack Obama's position on Gaza, where more than 20 Palestinians, including 10 children, were killed by Israeli shelling on the day of Eid.

Obama had earlier issued a statement congratulating Muslims on the Eid-al-Fitr, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

“Muslims throughout the United States and around the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, Michelle and I extend our warmest wishes to them and their families,” Obama said.

“While Eid marks the completion of Ramadan, it also celebrates the common values that unite us in our humanity and reinforces the obligations that people of all faiths have to each other, especially those impacted by poverty, conflict, and disease,” he added.

“We stand with people of all faiths, here at home and around the world, to protect and advance their rights to prosper, and we welcome their commitment to giving back to their communities,” the U.S. president said.

One person replied on Twitter saying: “except the ones in Gaza [be]cause they're too busy getting bombed.”

“The ones in Gaza as well?” asked Semra Akay, another twitter user identifies herself as a PhD candidate in the United Kingdom.

Janet Weil replied to the White House's tweet saying: “the hypocrisy of the #Obama admin, supporting the genocidal ”self-defense” of #Israel, never ceases to amaze. #GazaUnderAttack.”

Twitter user @abdikarim_abdi3 wrote: "Obama releases a statement on Eid day but completely ignoring that children in Gaza will be unable to celebrate the special occasion."

Purported Syrian blogger @nmsyria asked: “Anything on Israel's "right to defend itself" in the footnotes, or was that humiliation limited to the White House Iftar?”

Recent controversy

This is the second controversy this month involving the White House’s handling of Muslim occasions in relation to the U.S.’s policy in the Middle East.

Last month, during a White House Iftar for the U.S. Muslim community leaders, President Obama angered some of his guests by reiterating Israel's right to defend itself, amid the ongoing deadly assault on Gaza.

Tarik Takkesh, a speaker and social justice advocate who was invited to the White House Iftar , wrote that President Obama "symbolically slapped his Muslim guests not once, but twice, in the face.”

“In my shock, I wondered – would the President ever dare invite a representative from Hamas to a White House Passover Seder dinner? Or was this kind of disgrace reserved only for the American Muslim community?” Takkesh wrote in an article on Mondoweiss.com.

According to to a 2014 Gallup poll, American Muslims have given President Obama the highest approval rates amongst religious groups in the United States since 2009.

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