Sep 18, 2012

Muslims Give Blood to Save Lives

By Shahina Bashir
Source: Examiner

It is said that time is the greatest healer. Perhaps it is the only way that man can survive the reality of tragedies and loss. It is hard to believe that the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 is upon us. Though the pain maybe lessened but the day will forever be etched in our hearts. President Obama today signed a proclamation which designates the eleventh anniversary of 9/11 as Patriot Day and National Day of Remembrance.

“On September 11, 2001, a bright autumn day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. Thousands of innocent men, women, and children perished when mighty towers collapsed in the heart of New York City and wreckage burned in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. They were family and friends, service members and first responders -- and the tragedy of their loss left pain that will never fade and scars our country will never forget,” the President said in his proclamation.

As the nation takes part in this remembrance, one organization has taken a novel approach to commemorate this tragic day in history. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the oldest Muslim organization in the US, launched the “Muslims for Life” campaign last year to honor the victims of 9/11 by holding blood drives across the nation. The goal was to collect 10,000 units of blood which would save 3,000 lives. This goal was surpassed and instead 11,803 units of blood were collected from 200 drives nationwide. Through this campaign the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community wants to send a clear message that Islam is about peace and it values the sanctity of life. This is the organization’s second effort and the goal has been raised from 10,000 units to 11,000.

"On 9/11, 2001, the impression was created that Muslims are for destruction of life, and we want to change that impression," Naseem Mahdi, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community's National Vice President told Fox News today. Of the 190 or so blood drives across the nation, two are being held in Washington D.C. People from all walks of life came to donate blood at the Rayburn House building on the Capitol Hill today.

~ Editor's Note: Campaign results announced at month-end showed 11,170 pints of blood collected nationwide through 376 interfaith blood drives. In the Houston area, Muslims for Life blood drives were held at the following locations: Baitus Samee Mosque on Spears Road; Hosanna Lutheran Church on Ella + 1960; Houston Community College, Spring Branch and Alief campuses; Northwoods Presbyterian on FM 1960and Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston. ~

Shahina Bashir is a graduate of Texas Woman's University and the national chair of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women's writers' group. The views expressed in this post are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of Interfaith Houston.

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