President George Maxwell Richards underscored in his message commemorating Eid-ul-Fitr the significant contribution made by Muslims.

“I am reminded of how thankful we should be to be citizens of a nation in which religious observances, such as Eid-ul-Fitr, can be celebrated in an atmosphere of respect and peace, as guaranteed by our Constitution and as espoused in the words of our National Anthem, where “every creed and race find an equal place,” President Richards said.

He continued, “Traditionally, many nationals, who are not part of the Muslim community and for whom Eid does not hold religious significance, still join in the celebration, on this national holiday, by partaking of traditional dishes while visiting with Muslim friends. Non-Muslims are not excluded from the festivities or from the charity extended to the needy during the month of Ramadan.

“While world events have impacted us, by and large, we have charted our own course, as a nation, in the past 50 years, and members of the Muslim community, though small in number, have contributed significantly to the development of Trinidad and Tobago, serving in varied spheres and at all levels, including that of Head of State of our relatively young Republic.

“As is highlighted during the month of Ramadan, the focus on prayer, fasting and empathy and relief for the needy are all critical elements of the culture, lifestyle and belief system of those who follow the Muslim faith and our nation has benefitted from the demonstration of these ideals in our national community.”