Humorist Wajahat Ali laughs off Trump’s desertion of the Eid celebration

The World
George W. Bush at an Iftar dinner.

For the first time in over two decades, there was no Eid celebration at the White House.

"What?!" says humorist Wajahat Ali in mock-surprise. "[Trump has] such enduring loyalty and love towards Muslims and Islam in America. It's been a lovefest for a year and a half!"

Joking aside, Ali says Trump's abandonment of the tradition is in keeping with everything he's seen from this administration.  

"It's another gesture towards a part of his base — which is seeking white nationalism and white supremacy." Ali says it sends a message to Muslim Americans that "You are not welcome. And your religious traditions are not American enough."

The White House Eid dinner was started by Hillary Clinton in 1996, but its roots go back much further — to Thomas Jefferson. In 1805, Jefferson arranged a sunset dinner for the Tunisian Ambassador Sidi Soliman Mellimelli because it was Ramadan.

Ali referred to this first Iftar in a tweet over the weekend.

Ali says he didn't anticipate the victriolic response from Trump supporters.

"I was just celebrating Eid with my family, doing really Muslim-y, exotic things like eating crab cake buffet after Eid prayer," he says. "And then at night, once I had a little bit of time, I see that this tweet goes viral. And there are hundreds of toxic nasty responses." 

Like this one:

However, Ali chose to respond with humor. 

Ali tweet

"I prefer the Bugs Bunny approach, not the Daffy Duck approach," says Ali. "You can sit there, get angry, lose your mind, tear your hair out, but the anvil always lands on Daffy Duck's head. Or you can be like Bugs Bunny and have some fun with it."

Here are some more tweets that would make Bugs proud:

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"I think having some dark humor about this stuff is cathartic," Ali advises. "Because if you don't have some dark humor … living in Trump's administration, you'll be depressed and angry and need Xanax every day. So I'd go for the humor approach."

Listen to The World's full interview with Wajahat Ali above.

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