Muslims for Life Blood Drive Campaign Commemorates 10th Anniversary with 9/11 Event
Virtual event draws Red Cross and U.S. Lawmakers
On September 11, 2020, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community held a virtual event under its Muslims for Life campaign to commemorate 10 years of service to humanity through blood donations.
Since 2010, each year members of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community participate in blood drives with the spirit of giving back to the community by honoring the victims of 9/11.
Amjad Mahmood Khan, National Director of Public Affairs for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, thanked American Red Cross, who has been the community’s largest partner in this mission. With the combined efforts of various blood centers, the campaign has been able to collect 65,000 pints of blood and helped save over 200,000 lives.
US Congresswoman Norma J Torres of the 35th Congressional District of California expressed her gratitude for all of the volunteers who have contributed to the campaign over the past ten years. In the wake of the horrifying tragedy of 9/11, she applauded the Community for rising up to the challenge to see this day as a chance to volunteer their services for humanity.
“You are always there when America needs you the most, and that is also why your values and leadership is the most important,” she said.
Imam Yahya Luqman of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s Washington D.C. Chapter shared some verses from the Holy Quran and explained that as Muslims, there is always a duty to give back to mankind as entrusted by God. He reiterated that when innocent lives were taken on 9/11, the actions of the perpetrators did not represent Islam in any way. Instead, we need to remember the hope that was imbued in the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be on him) who directed Muslims to keep themselves occupied in the service of God’s creatures for His [Allah’s] sake only. Imam Luqman emphasized that community service is a large part of our faith and that Muslims will continue to serve the needy. Especially amidst a global COVID pandemic, we will continue to serve mankind.
Paul Sullivan, Vice President of American Red Cross, pointed out that tragedies like 9/11 bring forward the best in us as we seek avenues to help communities. Muslims for Life campaign is reflective of the need to create that change, he said.
“Each of these 65,000 plus donations provided the promise of hope and healing for those in need,” Sullivan said.
Thomas Rice, aide of Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, and U.S. Congressman Pete Aguilar of the 31st District of California, both shared their appreciation for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for its incredible mission.
Nasir Bukhari, Director of Public Affairs for the Detroit Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, held a live broadcast from a Muslim for Life blood drive in Michigan. He reported that the event attracted a great number of blood donors to help those in need. He said that this service is the true representation of our motto, “Love for all, Hatred for none.”
Imam Shamhsad Nasir said that our job as Muslims is to “strive towards God and towards humanity.” With the guidance of His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community), Ahmadi Muslims are always taught to adopt values of patience and steadfastness in the wake of tragedy and take action to help those in need. In kind, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has stepped up to take on the challenge to help in whatever capacity they are able.
US Congresswoman Jackie Speier of the 14th District of California remarked that even in the midst of a pandemic, the Community did not hesitate to hold blood drives.
“COVID 19 has really been a strain on the Red Cross and blood banks across this country, as the need for blood has grown so dramatically,” she said. “It is not just words — ‘love for all hatred for none’ is what you act on every day.”
From Michigan, Regional Director of American Red Cross, Kelly Delong, shared that they had a great number of people come in to donate blood that day. DeLong really appreciated the effort of the volunteers to come out during the pandemic. She pointed out there is always need for blood and it can only be received through donation.
Khan then introduced Humanity First USA’s partnership with Muslims for Life. Majid Khan, Chairman of Humanity First USA’s Health Care Services, explained how Muslims for Life has been a critical partner in supporting life-saving health initiatives in the developing world.
The event concluded with a rundown of active blood drives around the country, in which supporters can participate.