Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
February 5, 2001 | Sneller, Beth
Byline: Beth Sneller Daily Herald Staff Writer
Just because a disaster doesn’t affect you personally doesn’t mean you don’t have a responsibility to help.
That was the theme behind a fund-raiser for earthquake victims in India held at the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park Sunday.
About 350 Muslims gathered to eat lunch and hear speakers talk about the great need for relief funds in India.
“There are thousands of Patels in India who are victims of this tragedy,” said Faisal Hamouda, a speaker from Islamic Circle of North America. “Could we start by getting $1,000 from every Patel here?”
Hamouda stressed to his listeners that it is not those who have died who need their financial support.
“It is the ones who are left behind that we have to take care of,” he said. “It is our duty.”
Mohammed Hussain, the fund-raiser’s organizer, said though only about 5 percent of the people in attendance had relatives in India, they still were eager to do everything they could to help.
“When you see these pictures of the devastation over there, anyone can be moved,” he said. “This mosque is very upfront with these kinds of causes.”
Munir Chaudhry of Oakbrook Terrace said he attended the fund- raiser for exactly that reason.
“We are touched by this earthquake,” he said. “It is our belief as Muslims that we should help people, whoever they are.”
Hussain said his goal had been to raise $50,000 at Sunday’s event.
But when admission tickets and donations had been totaled up at the end of the day Sunday, only $37,000 had been raised.
“We were a little bit disappointed,” he said. “But we still have one more day.”
He said they will draw in some more money by the end of the day today from volunteers who were asking for donations in the far North and South suburbs.
Plus, Hussain said, in a few weeks the committee that planned Sunday’s fund-raiser will hold a similar event in the northern part of Chicago to include Muslims who were too far away to make it to Villa Park.