Indiana Governor Breaks Ramadan Fast with Local Muslims at his Residence

September 26, 2006

Source: The Indianapolis Star

On September 26, 2006 The Indianapolis Star reported, "Gov. Mitch Daniels reached out to more than 150 Muslims from across the state Monday night, welcoming them to his official residence for a meal to end their daily fasting for Ramadan. Shortly after sunset, the Muslim call to prayer rang out over the home's back garden in the voice of Henry Hane, an immigrant from Senegal. The Muslims followed that by breaking their daily fasts with dishes from three continents. Then they performed their ritual prayers in two tents in the backyard of the residence at 4750 N. Meridian St. Daniels told the crowd, 'All God's people are equal in his eyes. I am glad to welcome you to this home. You should think of this as your home.' The audience of Muslims from every corner of the state embraced the hospitality and presented Daniels gifts ranging from books on Muslim sex education to a wooden box ornately decorated with calligraphy from Syria, which is home to Daniels' ancestors. Ahmed ElHattab, acting director of the Plainfield-based Islamic Society of North America, said the governor's words touched his heart. 'His genuine message from the heart was very well received,' he said... 'To be blessed to make prayer at the governor's residence is significant,' said Michael Saahir, an imam from the Nur-Allah Islamic Center on the Northside. He said it is recognition of the contributions made by the estimated 250,000 Muslims in Indiana."