The city of Flint, Michigan is experiencing a severe water catastrophe that has left residents struggling to access clean water. In the midst of the largest water contamination incident in American history, the Muslim community of nearby Dearborn donated 30,000 bottles of water to Flint’s residents in a telling gesture of compassion and humanity.
The Muslim organization "Who Is Hussain?" donated water to the Red Cross in Flint on Sunday. The group organized a local campaign to collect cases of water bottles and gathered online donations to purchase more water.
“We saw what needed to be done and we decided to do it. We reached out to schools, neighbors, friends, mosques, anyone and everyone to help us by donating a case of water, or money towards a case,” Dr. Aziza Askari, representative for the Michigan chapter, told the Washington Times.
Mohammed Almawla, a local filmmaker and volunteer for the organization, explained the strong motivation behind the help.
“Prophet Mohammed taught us ‘Your neighbor comes before your own household.’ As a resident of Detroit this is not only a Flint problem this is a Michigan problem and I feel obligated to help to the best of my ability.” Almawla said.
The water crisis initially began when the state, in an attempt to save money, decided to switch Flint’s water supply from Lake Huron to the notoriously filthy Flint River. The water flowing to residents was contaminated with iron given the state Department of Environmental Quality wasn’t treating it with an anti-corrosive agent in accordance with federal law. Half of service lines to Flint homes are made of lead and since the water supply wasn’t properly treated, lead began seeping into the water supply.
As rampant Islamophobia — fueled by politicians’ demagoguery and fear-mongering — spreads across the U.S., this act notably demonstrates that Muslims are not a people we should fear but rather are our neighbors eager to lend a helping hand.
@realDonaldTrump a Muslim group called "Who is Hussian" donated 30,000 of water bottles to Flint, Michigan.. Or that's a terrorist act?— Ethan Hill (@EthanHillBeauty) January 19, 2016
Banner image credit: Flickr user Steven Depolo