This is a grand gesture, to be sure, but just one question: when has any Muslim group ever changed its activities, or moved their date, or done anything differently at all, out of respect for the United States? Obama has spoken many, many times of “mutual respect” between the U.S. and Muslim countries. But where exactly now is that respect really mutual? The gestures of respect are always made by non-Muslims to the Muslims — never, ever the other way around.
“US Embassy celebrates 4th of July earlier out of respect for Ramadhan,” by Dylan Amirio, The Jakarta Post, June 5, 2015 (thanks to Patrick):
The United States Embassy enjoyed its annual 4th of July celebration on Thursday, June 4, one month early, in order to respect the upcoming Ramadhan month, which will begin on June 17 and last for one month.
US Ambassador to Indonesia Robert O. Blake and US Ambassador to ASEAN Nina Hachigian presided over the festivities, which involved brass band renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner and the Indonesian national anthem, Indonesia Raya.
Blake explained that the theme of the event leaned toward “green” development, which supported the US’ focus on building and promoting a green economy and more environmentally sustainable development.
He also praised Indonesia’s performance as a fully functioning democracy, aiming for further collaboration between the two countries in the years to come.
“The US will continue to support Indonesia in the future through its democratic achievements. Democracy is an American value which we have championed since [the country’s birth in] 1776,” Blake told the crowd during the festivities at his residence near Taman Suropati, Central Jakarta, on Thursday.
He added that moving the 4th of July celebrations to June 4 was one done out of respect for the upcoming Ramadhan month, which will last from June 17 to July 17.
The event also showcased a number of American products and businesses, including the Zero FX Electric Motorcycles, which Blake explained were an environmentally friendly vehicle used by the California Highway Patrol.
Several high-level Indonesian officials attended the festivities, including Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan, Coordinating Economic Minister Sofyan Djalil, Deputy Foreign Minister AM Fachir and Industry Minister Saleh Husin. Other figures such as Golkar Party chairman Aburizal Bakrie were also in attendance….