Call to Service Resonates in Muslim Community
By Larisa Epatko and Meaghan Wilson


When President Barack Obama called on the nation to serve in remembrance of the 2001 terrorist attacks, many Muslim-Americans were mobilized to act and some have managed to shape new roles in their communities as a result.
In June, President Obama kicked off a "United We Serve" initiative encouraging volunteer work, with an emphasis on interfaith projects, and culminating in a National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11.

One aspect of the initiative was to use existing Muslim-American networks and charities to further mobilize their communities to participate in service projects and work with people of other faiths.

Initially setting a goal of 1,000 service projects over the summer, Dalia Mogahed, executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, who is also a member of the president's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said the effort among Muslim-American groups multiplied into 3,000 projects -- the vast majority of which involved another faith community.

"We wanted to encourage people to get to know their neighbors and for their neighbors to get to know them, and I don't think there's anything as powerful as serving together to accomplish that," she said. Courtesy Online NewsHour



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