Obama hosts annual iftar dinner for Muslims at White House - Houston Chronicle

Despite Obama's message of peace, the Middle East remains torn by conflict from the Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq to Saudi Arabia's air attacks on factions fighting for control of Yemen to the recent Taliban attack on Afghanistan's parliament building.

Of course, Obama got serious soon enough, bringing up Charleston, South Carolina, the site of the massacre of nine black worshippers, asserting, "Our prayers remain in Charlestown ..."

He recognised a number of young Muslim American activists in the audience, including Samantha Elauf, who successfully won a Supreme Court case to defend her right to wear a hijab, or headscarf, after she was rejected for a sales job at a retail clothing store.

About 40 Muslim Americans belonging to the diplomatic community and members of Congress were welcomed into the East Wing to celebrate the start of the holiday.

The White House invited a few young Muslim Americans, who Obama held up as examples of what can be achieved in the United States.

Concluding the dinner, the president assured that "We stand united against these hateful acts". "They mostly hear about Muslims in the news - and that can obviously lead to a very distorted impression", Obama said. "That’s why it’s so important always to lift up the stories and voices of proud Americans who are contributing to our country every day". He is also the founder of a website that aims at combating stereotypes and hate violence by encouraging others his age to share their stories. Obama signed the bill into law last week.

Khalif, the daughter of Somali immigrants, was accepted into all eight Ivy League colleges and plans to attend Harvard. "The Rohingya in Myanmar, including migrants at sea, whose human rights must be upheld", he said.

"We’re experiencing... a slow coming together of the faiths, not spiritually, but in dialogue".

However, it goes a long way in proposing models that could become those who change the world.

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