Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today, along with his congressional staff in Washington, D.C., are fasting in solidarity with Muslims in Michigan and around the world in observance of Ramadan. Ramadan is a holy month of fasting during which Muslims may not eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. Today, recognized as the Summer Solstice, is the longest day of 2017 for anyone living north of the equator.
This is the sixth year in a row that Congressman Kildee and his staff have observed Ramadan with a day of fasting. The team Ramadan fast has become a tradition for Congressman Kildee and his office since 2012, starting as a show of support for a Muslim staffer observing the holy month.
"For Muslims, the holy month of Ramadan is a time filled with prayer, happiness and reflection. Fasting together, even if for a day, helps us develop a deeper understanding of how meaningful Ramadan is to millions of observing American Muslims," Congressman Kildee said.
"There continues to be great unfamiliarity about Islam and its teachings. The vast majority of Muslims are peaceful and loving people. Yet sadly, hate crimes and hateful rhetoric against the Muslim community are on the rise. Even the President of the United States, in pushing an unconstitutional Muslim ban, has shown an ignorance of Islam. With recent attacks on Muslims, this year's fast is arguably more important than ever. You can't hate up close when you know and understand someone," Congressman Kildee continued.
Congressman Kildee and staff today woke before 4 a.m. ET -- before sunrise -- to individually make breakfast, sharing photos of their meals in a text chain that will continue throughout the day with inspirational messages of support. In the evening, at 8:37 p.m. ET, Congressman Kildee and his staff will share an Iftar dinner together -- the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan --in Washington, D.C.
Congressman Kildee represents the Fifth Congressional District, which includes Flint and the greater Flint area, where a sizable Arab-American community lives.