Muslim citizenship in tornado ravaged areas of America
June 5, 2013 Leave a comment
This title caught my eye and upon reading it I was amused and perplexed at the same time. Why, I asked my self, would Muslims venture into a state that has shown its hostility towards them with rhetoric meant to demean them by singling Muslims as a religious group out to be legislated against in their anti-sharia ballot initiative of 2010 only to follow that up with House Bill 1060 which even some Oklahomans see as something that will only inflame passions and whip up hysteria against Muslims. With that backdrop, Muslims offering to help fellow American citizens is something strange or unusual to say that least. Read on
While Muslim teams have been deployed to help those in need, US Muslim leaders have appealed to the sizable minority to join efforts to aid victims of a devastating tornado in Oklahoma that wiped whole blocks of homes and killed scores.
“Our hearts go out to the victims’ families, and especially to the parents of little children who lost their young lives in this natural disaster,” Imam Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), told OnIslam.net.
“We stand by the citizens of Moore in their effort to rebuild their lives.”
At least 24 people have been killed after a massive tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore.
Trapping victims beneath the rubble, the deadly storm destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, wiped out two schools and a hospital and left at least 237 people injured, including many children.
Emergency workers have pulled more than 100 survivors from the rubble of homes, schools and a hospital.
ISNA has called on Americans to offer aid to those in need of emergency assistance and to make generous contribution to relief efforts through national relief organizations.
Muslim relief agencies have activated disaster response teams to help in the relief efforts for Oklahoma victims.
Islamic Relief’s Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) is on the ground and helping those devastated by the tragedy.
Islamic Relief is working closely with the American Red Cross and local authorities to ensure aid reaches those affected in a timely manner.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA)’s Relief has also activated its disaster response team which is set for immediate deployment in the area.
“We are saddened at the loss of so many lives including many children caused by this tornado,” said ICNA President Naeem Baig.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families who have lost their loved ones in Oklahoma today.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), … chapter in Oklahoma is teaming up with the Islamic Society of Tulsa and the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City to collect items to prepare disaster relief kits for the victims of the storms.
Awad said the home of CAIR’s Oklahoma chapter board chair, Saad Mohammed, was destroyed while his family sought shelter from the tornado in a closet. No one in the family was injured.
“CAIR-Oklahoma will coordinate with disaster officials to help facilitate the Muslim community’s role in the recovery effort,” said the chapter’s Executive Director Adam Soltani.
Now compare that response on the part of America’s political outcasts to this
Humanist groups and atheists across the U.S. have banded together to help a fellow atheist who survived the massive tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma earlier this week.
At the fund-raising website Indiegogo, atheists have set up a relief fund for Vitsun, (Rebecca Vitsmun) who lost her house in the storm and most of her possessions.
“Let’s show the world that you dont need to believe in a god to have human compassion nor does all charity fall under the banner of religion,” says the site. “Let’s get this courageous woman and her family back in their own home.”
The site has already passed its goal of $50,000 by nearly $700 at press time, with 60 days in the fund-raiser still to go.
Imagine, I tweeted, what would be the outcry of Islamophobes if a news report spoke of how Muslims were targeting their relief efforts to just Muslims in the face of a widespread, devastating natural disaster that affected all Americans. Cries of discrimination and self imposed racial/religious isolation and an unwillingness to integrate in American society would ring out from every nook and cranny of the American landscape. I dont’ know how many people in Oklahoma were helped by Islamic organizations after the tornados of May, 2013 but that one act of unity and resolve gave more to Oklahoma than Oklahoma gave them.