Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community across the nation and in Houston are preparing for this year’s Muslims for Life blood drive campaign, which will take place this September. The community hopes to collect 10,000 units of blood throughout the U.S. to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The blood drive is the continuation of a campaign started last year called Muslims for Peace, which shows Islam is a peaceful religion and does not condone violence or terrorism, said Saadia Faruqi, interfaith liaison for the Houston North Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
“We were handing out flyers and doing interfaith discussions about peace and loyalty to your country,” she said. “For the next stage, we are walking the walk. We wanted to do something concrete and tangible to show that Islam upholds the sanctity of life.”
Any churches or businesses in the greater Houston-area can participate in the blood drive, Faruqi said.
“We have churches participating, groups like the FBI office which has 700 employees in Houston, Interfaith Ministries of Houston, or anyone who has the power to get the people together,” she said.
While the campaign was originally going to take place on the week of Sept. 11, it was opened up to the month of September as more organizations wanted to join, Faruqi said.
There are three Ahmadiyya Muslim Community chapters in the greater Houston-area, including one in Cypress.
“We are joining all our efforts together,” said Dawood Munir Sahib, president of the Cypress chapter. “We are working together to get the maximum participation from everyone.”
Although the goal of the campaign is to raise 10,000 units of blood, Faruqi hopes the bigger impact will involve removing misconceptions that Islam is a violent religion. In fact, the more people who join in, the more successful the campaign will be, she said.
“When we do efforts like this, it sends out a powerful message that we aren’t scared [of terrorists],” Faruqi said. “We are all joining together, and we are going to make this country a lot stronger.”
Organizations interested in the blood drive campaign may contact Faruqi at 832-858-3864 or firstname.lastname@example.org