WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Last year, the White House Ramadan celebration buzzed with warmth and community spirit, as President Biden warmly embraced Muslim Americans. However, this year’s festivities took on a more subdued tone, reflecting a palpable undercurrent of discontent within the Muslim community regarding Biden’s stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

The usual joyous scenes of communal iftar dinners were notably absent, replaced instead by a smaller gathering at the White House on Tuesday evening. Unlike the previous year’s event, which saw hundreds of attendees from various walks of life, this year’s gathering was limited to administration staff, eliciting mixed reactions from Muslim advocacy groups.

Wa’el Alzayat, leader of Emgage, a prominent Muslim advocacy organization, expressed a sentiment shared by many, describing the shift as “completely surreal and sad.” Despite attending last year’s celebration, Alzayat declined the invitation this year, citing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza as a barrier to participating in what he viewed as a celebratory event.

In response to the growing criticism, the White House altered its plans, opting for a private meeting focused on policy discussions with community leaders. However, the sudden nature of the meeting left some feeling that meaningful engagement was difficult to achieve within such a constrained timeframe.

Dr. Thaer Ahmad, a Palestinian-American ER doctor who recently visited Gaza, seized the opportunity to deliver a poignant letter from an 8-year-old orphan pleading for intervention to end the conflict. The gesture underscored the urgency felt within the community for concrete action and diplomatic intervention.

As Ramadan draws to a close and Eid al-Fitr begins, the scaled-down nature of the White House gathering reflects the delicate balance between political realities and humanitarian concerns. Against the backdrop of global conflicts and crises, the need for constructive dialogue and meaningful engagement has never been more pressing.

In a separate statement, President Biden extended warm Eid al-Fitr wishes to Muslims worldwide, acknowledging the ongoing challenges in Gaza and Sudan while emphasizing the importance of collective efforts to promote peace and stability.