|Ambassador Patrick Moon with Mufti Husein Kavazovic|
On Thursday, my wife and I had the honor of hosting in our residence an Iftar for some of our good friends from not only the Islamic community, but also Catholic, Jewish and Orthodox leaders. This special meal allowed us to reconnect as friends and reflect on our common values and aspirations for BiH. Bosnia and Herzegovina, like the United States, is fortunate to have so much religious, cultural and ethnic diversity. Part of the dinner discussion focused on the importance of supporting young leaders who are committed to establishing and maintaining good relations between ethnic communities. We are stronger as nations and as friends when we have the chance to celebrate traditions like this together. I’ve posted some photos below from our dinner, plus remarks that I gave during the meal.
|From left, Public Affairs Officer Tom Mesa, Dr. Zilka Spahic Siljak, Prof. Dr. Ismet Busatlic, Human Rights Officer Steve Gillen, and Muharem ef. Omerdic.|
Remarks for Ambassador’s Iftar, August 4
"Welcome. Thank you for coming. I am grateful, especially to those observing the fast, that you accepted our invitation to spend this evening with us in my residence.
"As you know, according to Islamic tradition, the fast of Ramadan is intended to re-dedicate believers to the faith through self-sacrifice and charity and to bring them closer to God. As we gather, the breaking of the fast is being celebrated by Muslims throughout the world with Iftar dinners, like ours here tonight.
"Through this inter-faith Iftar, we pay our respects to Islam’s tradition of fasting as part of humanity’s journey toward reconciliation with God and with others – a tradition common to all the great Abrahamic religions represented here.
"From the beginning, the inter-faith origins of fasting have been recognized by Islam. In the second chapter of the Qur'an, God proclaims that "fasting has been written down upon you, as it was upon those before you.” This passage is believed by most scholars to refer to the Jewish traditions of feasts during Rosh Hashanah and fasts during Yom Kippur. Those Jewish traditions also inspired Lent -- Christianity’s holy month of fasting and reconciliation before the Easter feast.
"As in other faiths, fasting is used to increase spirituality, discipline and consciousness of God’s mercy.
"We gather here tonight as citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina -- as Muslims, Christians, and Jews -- and as Americans representing these and many other faiths. We gather here to pay our respects to the believers who strive through fast and reconciliation to come closer to God.
"We gather here also, as children of the same God, who strive for a peaceful and prosperous future for Bosnia and Herzegovina, to re-dedicate ourselves to reconciliation and to bringing ourselves closer to each other.
"Thank you again for coming. I truly hope that you will enjoy this traditional Iftar meal prepared by my staff."
|From left: Mufti Husejin Smajic, Deputy Chief of Mission Jonathan Moore, The Rev. Mato Zovkic, Mr. Vahid Fazlovic and Mr. Fikret Karcic.|
|Mrs. Danuta Moon and Dr. Vesna Jurisic|