Muslims in US mark 9/11 with acts of service

By staff writers
September 11, 2009

Muslims in the US are taking part in the first official September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance, established by President Obama and Congress to mark the anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center to and engage more Americans in serving their communities.

Over the course of the summer of service, culminating on September 11, Muslim-American volunteer groups have carried out more than 3,000 days of service in communities across the United States.

Those taking part say the response from American Muslims to the President's service initiative challenges fears that Muslim Americans are self-isolating and indifferent to the needs of their fellow citizens.

"It was Islam's core teaching of affirming faith with good works that formed the heart of this call to action," said Dalia Mogahed, a member of the President's Council on Faith Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships. "After eight years of feeling under siege, Muslim Americans are now leading a movement to lift up others and serve their communities with reverence."

The Summer of Service has already seen a groundswell of Muslim-American activity to improve neighbourhoods across the country. Muslim-Americans have provided health care to those without insurance, delivered books to under-funded Native-American schools, provided food in dozens of US cities and provided support structures for newly arrived refugee families.

Throughout the summer, 93 per cent of the programmes carried out by Muslim-American groups have been completed in cooperation with groups from other faith traditions.

"Muslim Americans Answer the Call is the true embodiment of the President's call for change," said Dalia Mogahed. "Muslim-American volunteerism this summer demonstrates the community's desire to positively contribute to our country."

United We Serve: Muslim Americans Answer the Call is a grassroots national campaign to mobilize every Muslim American to take part in the president's service initiative by engaging Muslim organizations and social networks.

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