U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and actress Angelina Jolie attended an iftar dinner on Monday an iftaar dinner in Sterling, Va., as part of the World Refugee Day events.
Speaking at the event held at All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, Kerry began his speech with the Muslim greeting "Assalamu Alaikum" [Peace be upon you] and congratulated Muslim's on their holy month of Ramadan.
He added that refugees are not a threat to the American society and that it is not part of American values to discriminate against people based on their religion or nationality.
During the event, which included members of various faiths, the call to prayer was recited by a Muslim U.S. officer.
Kerry addressed the issue of the high and rising global number of refugees. "If we were to compile all refugees in one country, it would be the world's 22nd most crowded country," Kerry said.
Kerry also criticized the increase in Islamphobic incidents in the U.S. "Hatred against Muslims, making them a target serves the interest of the terror groups. There is a tendency to show that there is a war between the U.S. and Islam. This is not true. There is no other country like the U.S. where Muslims can live freely," Kerry said.
Jolie also spoke during the event, expressing her appreciation for attending the iftar dinner with members of various religions.
Like Kerry, Jolie drew attention to the increased xenophobic incidents, in addition to refugee numbers, calling on all states to share the burden and responsibility in tackling these problems.
"All humans are born equal and entitled to the equal rights," Jolie said.
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