CAIRO – A recently established Muslim council in a New York county has donated hundreds of blankets and food items to the Long Island Council of Churches in East Meadow to defy the freezing weather.
“The first initial thing we thought we’d all do is a little bit of charity,” Habeeb Ahmed, member of the Islamic Center of Long Island, told LI Herald on Tuesday, January 7.
The donations were first suggested during a talk between Ahmed and Mohammed Saleh, a Merrick resident who belongs to the Long Island Muslim Society.
Establishing the Muslim community, the pair asked the congregation to donate money for the blankets, as well as food to be distributed on the needy.
In their first charity project, members of the Muslim Community of Nassau County (MCNC) donated more than 300 blankets as well as hundreds of pounds of non-perishable food items to the Long Island Council of Churches (LICC).
The donation ceremony held at the Long Island Muslim Society on East Meadow Avenue.
“I was seeing what good things they do for the whole community, not just for Christians, but for anybody who is in need of anything,” Ahmed said.
Established last October, the MCNC comprises a handful of mosques and Muslim organizations in the County.
The Muslim coalition includes Long Island Muslim Society on East Meadow Avenue and the Islamic Center of Long Island in Westbury.
The coalition also comprises Hamza Masjid in Valley Stream, Masjid Al-Baqi in Bethpage, Muhammadi Masjid in Elmont, the Hillside Islamic Center in New Hyde Park and Jaam’e Masjid in Bellmore.
Nassau Muslims' donations coincided with the unprecedented low temperature records across the fifty states of America which have disturbed business and travel, cancelling thousands of flights.
The Midwest was hit by the 'Polar Vortex', the heavy winds that circulate around the North Pole.
At least four dead, after the Arctic air blows has gripped the vast middle of the states on Monday
Receiving MCNC's donations, members of the Long Island Council of Churches welcomed the Muslims’ generous move, pointing to the increasing number of the needy people in the County.
“It was great,” said Revere Tom Goodhue, the executive director of the LICC, who will distribute the blankets and food throughout their network of pantries and soup kitchens.
“They raised a huge amount of money for blankets. “It was really a wonderful gesture on their part.
“When you think about how rare it is for a church to give money to a mosque or synagogue, it’s astonishing that they did this for a food pantry,” Goodhue said.
The MCNC initiative was praised by Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves, who lives in East Meadow.
“It’s very apparent to me that they want to become part of the community,” Gonsalves said.
He added that MCNC has been involved with local Kiwanis, a volunteer service club.
“They recognize the fact that wherever there is need, they are going to participate and get involved,” Gonsalves added.
The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million.
A recent survey found that American Muslims are the most moderate around the world.
It also showed that US Muslims generally express strong commitment to their faith and tend not to see an inherent conflict between being devout and living in a modern society.
Last December, several Muslim groups across the US have launched special clothing drives to help the needy and homeless in different American states during the winter season.
Their efforts were not limited to helping American needy and homeless only.
Similar drives were launched to collect aid to Burma Muslims and Iraqi refugees.
Related Links:US Muslims Aid Tornado Victims
Muslim Relief for Oklahoma’s Disaster
Muslim Fund for Boston Victims
Muslims Aid Storm-ravaged Americans
Muslims Race to Help Storm-hit Americans