With 150,000 to 200,000 people dead and another one to three million displaced by the earthquake in Haiti, Muslims have partnered with the rest of the world in aid and relief work.
Islamic Relief, one of the most respected and successful disaster relief charities in the world, has used technology, new media and social networking sites to mobilize people. Along with "Seekers Digest", a popular Muslim community blog run out of Canada, Islamic Relief hosted the "Muslim Online Haiti Fundraiser" and raised over $100,000 in two hours. The organization also used its existing partnership with the Mormon Church to send hygiene kits and temporary shelters to Haiti, in addition to pledging a total of $2.5 million.
- Muslim Americans held concerts in New York City and Chicago to raise money for aid.
- Two Pakistani organizations are mobilizing relief efforts; one has pledged $500,000.
- In the Middle East, Dubai Cares is providing assistance to 200,000 children.
- The governments of Bahrain, Kuwait, Morocco and Turkey have each pledged $1 million in aid, in addition to sending cargo planes filled with medical supplies, food, tents and blankets.
- Iran donated 30 tons of humanitarian aid, including food, tents and medicine through its Red Crescent Society.
- Palestinians, through the Red Cross, have begun an effort to send donations.
- Lebanon sent a plane with 25 tonnes of tents and three tonnes of medical supplies.
- Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation, sent $2.1 million in aid.
The author of this article, Wajahat Ali, is a playwright, attorney and journalist. His blog is at Goatmilk (www.goatmilk.wordpress.com). This article was written for the Common Ground News Service (CGNews).