President Obama hosted an Iftar dinner Monday night to mark the Muslim holiday of Ramadan and to reach out to the roughly 1.5 billion Muslims around the world when much of the Islamic world is struggling with war, terrorism and economic challenges and when the United States remains embroiled in many of those conflicts.

The president said that the holiday dinner "is also a reminder of the freedoms that bind us together as Americans, including the freedom of religion -- that inviolable right to practice our faiths freely."

Citing the shootings at the Charleston, S.C., church and the murder of three young Muslim Americans in Chapel Hill, N.C., earlier this year, Obama said that "as Americans, we insist that nobody should be targeted because of who they are, or what they look like, who they love, how they worship." He said "our prayers remain in Charleston."

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