President Bush has issued his annual greeting to the world's Muslims preparing to observe the holy month of Ramadan.
In his message, Mr. Bush calls Islam a peaceful religion that has helped shape the character of the United States and has made great contributions to the world.
"I send greetings to Muslims in the United States and around the world observing the holy month of Ramadan," he said.
"Ramadan is the holiest season in the Islamic faith, commemorating the revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammed. This month of introspection provides Muslims a time to focus on their faith and practice God's commands. Through fasting, prayer, contemplation, and charity, Muslims around the world renew their commitment to lead lives of honesty, integrity, and compassion.
Throughout our history, people of different faiths have shaped the character of our Nation. Islam is a peaceful religion, and people who practice the Islamic faith have made great contributions to our Nation and the world. As Americans, we cherish our freedom to worship and we remain committed to welcoming individuals of all religions. By working together to advance freedom and mutual understanding, we are creating a brighter future of hope and opportunity.
Laura joins me in sending our best wishes. Ramadan mubarak."