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Celebration of Eid al-Adha at the Islamic Society of Frederick, Maryland

I want to thank Imam Hendi for his friendship and for his leadership. I told him on the way in that he is a wonderful teacher. I happened to catch him on television the other night, and he does a wonderful job of speaking to children and teaching them about your faith and about the values that we all have in common as human beings. I am honored to be here to help celebrate Eid. It is great to see all the children and all their festive clothing and their smiling faces. This is a wonderful celebration of family and community. I am very, very honored that you have asked me to be here with you, that I was able to be here.

Eid is a celebration of commitment and obedience to God and also of God’s mercy and provision for all of us. It is a time of family and community, a time of charity. I was struck by the Imam’s message that every one of us has something to give for the common good. That is what I try to think about as I have the privilege of representing you and serving our country -- that it is an opportunity for me to have something to give for the common good, and everyone of us has something that we can share with each other and contribute to the common good.

As President Bush has said: "Through generosity, compassion, and a commitment to faith, Muslim Americans have helped make our country stronger." It is my honor to reach out to the Muslim-American community and to work with you as we work together to confront the threats of terrorism and the ideologies of hate in our world. And so I very much appreciate the opportunity to be here. I want to read to you a message from President Bush: "I send greetings to Muslims around the world as you celebrate Eid al-Adha.

When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Abraham placed his faith in God above all else. During Eid al-Adha, Muslims celebrate Abraham's devotion and give thanks for God's mercy and many blessings. Eid is also a time for demonstrating charity and reaching out to family, friends, and those in need. America is blessed to have people of many religious beliefs who contribute to the diverse makeup of this country. Through generosity, compassion, and a commitment to faith, Muslim Americans have helped make our country stronger. Laura and I send our best wishes for a joyous celebration."

And on behalf of President and Mrs. Bush and all of us, I am privileged to wish you Eid Mubarak. Thank you so much.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).