Muslim doctor walks out of White House meeting with Biden

 April 4, 2024

Fox News reported that President Joe Biden invited a group of prominent Muslim American leaders to meet with him at the White House earlier this week, including Dr. Thaer Ahmad.

Yet according to NPR, Ahmad later walked out of the event over the way Biden is handling Israel's war with Hamas. 

Physician presented Biden with letter from Gaza

Ahmad later told the public broadcaster that his departure was an act of solidarity with Palestinians, adding that the Biden administration needs to do more for Gaza's residents.

"We've been on the ground, we've seen just how overcrowded Rafah is — just how little aid is getting in — and that any sort of military activity there would be catastrophic," the emergency physician was quoted as saying.

Aid group leader says the president was "somewhat dismissive"

Dr. Nahreen Ahmed serves as medical director of the aid group MedGlobal, and she too expressed dissatisfaction with Biden's approach.

Ahmed said that while she regarded the meeting as "a way to manage the community, to say that we are trying our best, that we hear you," she felt the president seemed "somewhat dismissive" when he was shown photos taken in Gaza.

"Maybe he didn't mean it that way, but you're the president of the United States, you cannot sit there and be this dismissive of individual pictures of people suffering that are being put in front of you and then tell us all, 'Well, I've seen these before,'" she told NPR.

"Even if you have — that's not the right response to a community of people that are hurting from what's happening in Palestine and are trying to express to you their hurt and their pain and their frustration," Ahmed added.

Ramadan event canceled following pushback

NPR noted that the White House had originally sought to invite Muslim leaders for an iftar--the meal Muslims have when they break their fast during Ramadan.

However, that plan was scrapped when some of the invitees expressed reservations over partaking in the religious event.

They included Wa'el Alzayat who heads up Emgage USA, the country's largest Muslim American get-out-the-vote organization.

"This is the holy month of Ramadan and these are the last 10 most holiest days of the month, and it would be inappropriate to be breaking fast at the White House — given our policies that are enabling a famine in Palestine," Alzayat said to NPR.

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