Muslim residents in London have donated 10 tons of food to help homeless people across the city during Christmas, religious and charity leaders said.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Muslim residents in London have donated 10 tons of food to help homeless people across the city during Christmas, religious and charity leaders said.
Thousands of people attended a food drive at East London Mosque to make and collect donations. An estimated 7,500 people attended in total, The London Evening Standard reported.
After they had attended Friday prayers, volunteers gathered the supplies, which include rice, pasta, cereal, tinned goods and other items. Donations came from local businesses, colleges, schools, and universities.
Hundreds of Muslims flocked to the East London Mosque on Friday in a drive to feed London's homeless during the festive period. Pictures showed members of the 7,500 strong Muslim congregations donating food as they attended Friday prayers at the mosque in Whitechapel.
Members of the group stood proudly in front of crates of shopping bags filled with rice, pasta, cereals and other tinned goods, ready to be distributed to people living on the street.
Organizers estimated that over seven tons of food were donated by local businesses, schools, a university, and leaders from other faiths chipping in.
More than 90 percent of the food, which will be given to homeless charity Crisis, will go to non-Muslims, with Christian Reverend Gary Bradley describing the drive as “all faiths working together for a common humanity.”
Chief Imam of the East London Mosque Abdul Qayum, who organized the collection along with charity Muslim Aid, said the drive was inspired by their faith.
He said: “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.”
He added: “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.”
The charity Centrepoint warns that 25,000 young people could be at risk of homelessness this Christmas. Chief Executive of Muslim Aid Jehangir Malik, 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 individuals in this country this Christmas, regardless of faith or background."