LONDON – Extending a hand of help their society, Muslims in the United Kingdom have launched a nationwide campaign for blood donation, a move seen as helping promote the Islamic values of giving.
“By donating blood we have the opportunity to promote the values of Islam and fulfill our obligation as Muslims to care for those who are sick and unwell, regardless of their religion,” Haidar Abdali, Islamic Unity Society (IUS) campaign organizer in London, told The Muslim News.“At times, living in such a diversely populated city like London can make Muslims isolated from the wider British community.
“This campaign helps encourage positive integration,” he said.
The blood donation drive, titled the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign, aims to increase the number of regular blood donors from the Muslim community in Britain.
Working in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT), sessions were organized in several British cities to encourage Muslims to donate blood.
“Giving blood can save a life which is like saving the whole of humanity.” Muhammad Kraish, a Glasgow Muslim who donated blood under the campaign, said.
Noor Al-Hussaini, a first-time donor and Mathematics student at Sheffield University, agrees.
“It was a good experience,” Al-Hussaini said.
“The whole process went very smoothly and made me wonder why I hadn’t donated blood before.
“I will most definitely donate blood again when I can,” he said.
So far, the campaign has attracted 307 people to attend blood donation sessions this year, with 225 successfully giving blood.
Another campaign session is scheduled in London on January 6.
The National Health Service needs 7,000 voluntary donations of blood daily with only four percent of the eligible population are active blood donors.
British officials have praised the need blood campaign for easing Muslim integration into the society.
“It’s great to have such an opportunity to work with the local Muslim community in promoting blood donation at this special time and I thank them for their support,” Theo Clarke, Lead Donor Relations Manager for black and minority ethnic (BME) communities and special projects with NHSBT, said.
“Often, rare blood groups are more common within certain ethnic groups, so encouraging people with rarer blood types to donate is a constant challenge.”
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority, estimated at nearly 2.5 million.
In 2011, think tank Demo found that Muslims in the United Kingdom are more patriotic than the rest of population.
Responding to the statement “I am proud to be a British citizen”, 83% of Muslims said they are proud of being British.
The percentage came higher than average across the population which scored only 79%.Muslims were also more optimistic than average, with only 31% believing Britain’s best days are in the past, compared with 45% for society as a whole.
Related Links:Muslim Minorities More British Than Whites
Britain's Patriotic Muslims
"My Hijab Symbolizes Britishness"
UK Muslims Europe's Most Patriotic: Study
Patriotic, Integrationist EU Muslims