Residents of Detroit know hardship like few others. Their city bankrupt, their streets in decay and an unemployment rate soaring high above the national average, the people of this once-bustling metropolis struggle with what most would consider the simplest of things.
In the wake of recent flooding and following a trend where nearly 32,000 people have had their water disconnected, the Muslim community has stepped up to help their neighbors in need.
The Michigan Muslim Community Council, partnered with Islamic relief USA have donated $100,000 to help thousands of families in jeopardy of having their water shut off.
Anwar Khan, CEO of Islamic Relief USA said in a statement:
We are hoping this is going to be contagious. The most important thing we have is not our money, it’s our energy and our enthusiasm, and it’s our people. … Also, it is important to us in our faith to help our neighbors. It is a part of our faith to help our friends.
Mayor Mike Duggan accepted the donations at a press conference Wednesday morning. The money was immediately earmarked for past-due accounts with the water department.
Muzammil Ahmed, chairman of the Michigan Muslim Community Council, said the water crisis of the summer had given the city a black eye and that giving water is the greatest form of charity for Muslims.
The program Mayor Duggan initiated that the donations will go towards is intended to help low-income families with outstanding water bills of over $1000. Those families will have the opportunity to apply for a portion of the funds, on a first come first serve basis, as a match to what they are able to pay.
All in all more than 30,000 households are expected to gain assistance.
Michigan has the largest Muslim community in America, but this isn’t about Muslims taking care of their own. Being a Muslim has nothing to do with whether you qualify for Duggan’s program.
In the midst of the hatred aimed at Muslims over terrorism, ISIS and the recent shootings in Paris – all attributed to radicals – ordinary, peaceful Muslims continue to show the kind of class some of us wish the right-wing Christian extremist in America would.