Video Message: Eid-al-Fitr

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 8, 2013

The video is available with closed captioning on YouTube.

Assalamu alaikum.  As we mark the end of Ramadan, the most holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims around the world, I would like to wish all Muslims a peaceful and joyous Eid al-Fitr.

I had the honor of hosting an Iftar at the State Department during Ramadan, and last week, while I was in Pakistan, I had the opportunity to join an Iftar at a women’s university in Islamabad.

As I have always found over many years of visiting and working with Muslim communities around the world, I left each one of these experiences with a renewed belief that our shared values are the best tools for confronting our many challenges.  I am confident that those challenges are no match for the strength of the human spirit, our capacity for compassion, for our commitment to charity, all of which are emphasized and celebrated during this blessed time.

As Muslims in the United States and around the world gather for Eid celebrations according to their rich and diverse traditions, I encourage you to continue celebrating the shared values of family, community, and peace – not just in this holy hour, but throughout the year.

Ramadan reminds us that practicing our diverse faiths – whether yours or mine or someone else’s – is not just about our personal relationship with God.  It also must be our – about our relationships with each other.

In times of change and uncertainty around the world, the celebration of these common values unites us in our humanity, and it reminds us of the value of cooperation and tolerance.  Understanding, if we have the courage to summon it, is a powerful key that can unlock so many solutions.

On behalf of the State Department, I wish you and all Muslims around the world Eid Mubarak.