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Muslims donate 10 tonnes of food in charity drive for homeless this Christmas

As published in The Telegraph on Sunday 18th December 2016.

Muslims donate 10 tonnes of food in charity drive for homeless this Christmas
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Muslims in London have donated 10 tonnes of food to feed the homeless.

The charity drive, organised by Muslim Aid and the East London Mosque in Whitechapel, saw hundreds of congregants arrive to Friday prayers bringing food donations

The food will be given to homeless charity Crisis, with more than 90 per cent going to  non-Muslims,

Dilowar Khan, Executive Director of the East London Mosque said: “It was heart-warming to see so many people bringing food to the Mosque and a good sign of our common humanity. We need to build on this and make sure that we support those less fortunate all year round.”

The Reverend Bernadette Hegarty of St Pauls, Bow Common Church, said: “Giving is an important part of both the Christian and Islam faith and it is important for us to be working together to do what we can to support our brothers and sisters.”

Jehangir Malik, Chief Executive of Muslim Aid, said: “With austerity cuts and the housing crisis, more and more people are ending up on the streets – destitute.

"We, as a Muslim charity, want to do everything we can to help the most vulnerable people in this country this Christmas, regardless of faith or background.

“Helping those in need is one of the five pillars of Islam and as temperatures plummet we need to do everything we can to protect those most at risk.”

Shaykh Abdul Qayum, Chief Imam of the East London Mosque, added: “Muslims are inspired by their faith towards helping others in need. It is a religious duty for Muslims to try to help others, irrespective of a person's faith or background. This compassion is truly reflective of what Islam stands for.

“In the cold winter months when we have the luxury of a home and hot food, it's easy to forget about others that are in dire need around us. So it is in that spirit we take part in this big food drive.”

Ian Richards, Head of Crisis at Christmas, said: “Every year, Crisis opens its doors to thousands of homeless people, offering a safe, warm welcome with food and companionship, as well as access to vital services and year-round opportunities.

"one of this would be possible without the generosity of our donors, and we’d like to thank Muslim Aid and the East London Mosque for their kind support. This food will help us provide a lifeline for homeless people this Christmas and bring them one step closer to escaping homelessness for good.”

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