(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden will meet with a group of Muslim staffers to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan amid growing criticism over the White House’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war. 

Vice President Kamala Harris and senior national security aides will join the small-group discussion, according to a White House official, who requested anonymity to share details of the meeting. The administration officials and community members are slated to pray together and share Iftar, a meal to break fast at sunset.

The session comes amid backlash from the Muslim community that threatens the president’s reelection bid. Michigan, a key 2024 battleground for Biden, is home to a large Arab-American population, many of whom criticized Biden for failing to stop strikes in Gaza following the deadly Oct. 7 attacks in Israel by Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by the US and European Union. 

Read more: Biden’s Israel Embrace Sows Reelection Risk as Protests Grow

During Michigan’s primary last month, detractors urged Democrats to either sit out the contest or cast “uncommitted” ballots in protest over Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

The White House has typically hosted much larger gathering of Muslim Americans during Ramadan. In May of 2023, Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib attended a reception marking Eid al-Fitr — the end of Ramadan — with dozens of others. But both lawmakers have been outspoken in their criticism of US support for Israel in the face of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Organizers in several other swing states have similarly encouraged primary voters to cast a ballot for “uncommitted” or “no preference” to express their disapproval of Biden’s handling of the war.

The White House also has faced criticism for not holding more regular meetings with members of the Muslim-American and Arab-American communities. Some Muslim community leaders in Michigan declined an invitation to meet last month with Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodriguez. 

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