Shura Council and Islamic Relief Raise over $700,000 for Quake Victims
A Pakistan Link Report
Pictures by Naushad Sarwar

Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, Consul General Jadmani, Fawad Yaqub, Anas Amla

Anaheim: Thanks to the generosity of a sizable number of Arab-American Muslims, the October 22 fundraiser at the Anaheim Convention Center saw the collection of $700,000 for the South Asian earthquake victims. The Convention hall was overflowing with more than 700 people demonstrating the Ummah’s concern for the quake victims. Many attendees were teary-eyed as they listened to the speeches and watched the plight of the earthquake victims during the screening of a short documentary.
The fundraiser was sponsored by the Islamic Relief and the Shura Council of Southern California. The co-sponsors of the event included Council of Pakistan American Affairs (COPAA), South Asian Festival of Los Angeles (SAFLA), MSA-West, and Pakistan Link.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, eminent religious scholar and President of the Shura Council of Southern California, exhorted the gathering to contribute generously to the relief funds for the earthquake victims. Muslims, he said, had contributed generously to the relief operations for the Tsunami and the Katrina Hurricane victims and they should demonstrate the same spirit of compassion while helping the earthquake victims of South Asia.
Quoting from the Holy Qur’an, Dr Siddiqi said that Allah says, “We test you sometime in difficulty and sometime in happiness.” Kashmiris and the NWFP victims of the quake “were going through a test and we are also going through a test. Anytime, anything can happen to anyone at any place. Such tragedies make you humble. Despite scientific advances” human beings are under the control of Allah. This is the moment to “turn towards Allah and to turn to the needy and to those who have suffered.”
Dr Siddiqi informed the gathering that the Fiqh Council of North America has decreed that “when such a disaster comes you can give your zakat” to the victims. Fidya and kuffara money too could be given to the earthquake victims, he declared.

Basmah Usman, Arif Sheikh, Ahmad Shamer, Hamid Malik

In his remarks on the occasion, Consul General Noor Mohammad Jadmani furnished an update on the rescue operations launched by the government of Pakistan in the quake-affected areas of the country. He said fifty thousand troops have been deployed and thousands of volunteers are associated in the relief operations.
With winter approaching, we are “racing against time” to save the life of the uprooted population in the quake-ravaged areas. The terrain is mountainous and difficult to access. Tents, blankets and medicine are badly needed by relief teams, Mr Jadmani informed.
He applauded the role of Islamic Relief in raising funds for the quake victims. He was also appreciative of the response of the Pakistani-American community which had raised funds and collected in-kind aid for the quake victims.
“These are trying times for us,” the Consul General remarked, adding, “We must ensure that the effort does not lose momentum.”
Islamic Relief, which was one of the sponsors of the fundraiser, works in 35 countries in association with the United Nations. It has earned a name for its transparent operations. It has over 100 staffers in its Pakistan offices and responded immediately when the earthquake struck. It has provided winterized tents, plastic sheeting, sleeping mats, blankets, medical supplies and food items in the quake -affected areas. Islamic Relief has also set up 10 clinics in the area.


Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.