By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Secretary of State Antony Blinken wished all Muslims in the US and around the world a "blessed Ramadan" on Monday as the faithful prepare to observe the holy month "of spiritual renewal."
Blinken noted that this year many Muslims, regardless of where they live, will again be celebrating Ramadan virtually when it begins on Tuesday due to the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"While we have seen the tremendous loss this past year, we have also seen stories of hope and resilience in the face of this adversity," he said in a video message posted to Twitter. "From essential workers to healthcare professionals, Muslims have been on the frontline, united in service, faith and shared humanity.
"For all those who have sacrificied so much and continue to do so, we are in our debt," he added.
Muslims observing Ramadan are required to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during the daylight hours of their holy month, which will end May 12.