KENORA - Extending their helping hand across Canada, Muslim community has travelled to deliver donated food items to an isolated town in Kenora district in northern Ontario after declaring state of 'emergency' there.
“It is part of being a Muslim, and they come and donate money or supplies, or part of their annual sacrificial meat so we can do this,” Hussain Guisti, the spokesperson of Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, told Winnipeg Free Press.
The Zubaidah-Tallab Foundation, a Winnipeg based Muslim group, has been preparing for the biggest shipment of donated food ever since `Eid Al–Adha to the Attawapiskat First Nation in Kenora district.
Seeing deteriorated economic status in Attawapiskat, the Muslim community decided to interfere.
This is the fifth year the foundation is donating food to remote aboriginal communities.
It's the first time it's gone this far afield in northern Ontario.
“Attawapiskat has been in a state of emergency,” Guisti said while citing Attawapiskat Chief, Theresa Spence's statement, Winnipeg Free Press reported.
“She said, ‘We have 100 people homeless and 400 families who rely on social welfare,’” Guisti said.
Guisti added that the donated money doesn't afford the needy families needs until the end of the month.
“They have to rely on bread the rest of the month,” he said.
“That's Third World poverty.”
The donations included fresh meat, chicken, carrots, milk, egg, rice and potatoes along with dried and canned foods and disposable diapers.
Seeking further help for First Nation community, which is a home for 1,800 residents, Guisti said that there are talks about starting a food bank.
Contributions from Manitoba donors will be the cornerstone of the bank.
“This is helping out,” he added.
Manitoba is home of a Muslim community of nearly 12,000, which has doubled in the last decade.
Muslims make around 1.9 percent of Canada's 32.8 million population, and Islam is the number one non-Christian faith in the country.
A survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.
Interfaith events usually help in correcting misconceptions about Muslims which resulted in a sharp increase in anti-Muslim views among Canadians.
A survey by the Association for Canadian Studies and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation in March 2012 found that more than half of Canadians distrust Muslims, the lowest level of trustworthiness of religious groups in the country.
Another recent survey by the Canadian Studies (ACS) found that the Muslim minority in Canada is still facing negative perceptions a decade after the 9/11.
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