FAYETTEVILLE – A Muslim student group at the University of Arkansas have organized a blood donation drive on campus, hoping to show compassion on the anniversary of 9/11.
“Most people are a little uncomfortable with it being placed on 9/11,” said Abigail Pickardt, the president of the Al-Islam Student Association at the University of Arkansas, 5Newsonline reported.
Titled Muslims for Life, the blood drive event was held on the 17th anniversary of September eleven attacks.
“It became the only explanation people had for Islam, so they generalized an entire community to that one extremist group,” said Pickardt.
Before the drive began there was a moment of silence to honor those who died in the terrorist attacks.
Attending the event, Muslims hope people will correct their misconceptions about their faith.
“They heard that this is the teaching of Muslims, that they murder, they kill, they take lives,” Feroz Hundal said.
He hopes events like Muslims for Life will help paint a new picture of Islam in America.
“From our community, this is how we respond back, instead of showing hatred, we show love and give back to the community,” he added.
Claire Allison is donating blood to honor that day. “I just found it to be a really great way to remember the day and give back a little bit.”
Pickardt thinks progress is being made to end a stereotype, “Islamophobia was less immediately after the event and it kind of grew, but I believe it’s coming back down, hopefully with efforts like Muslims for life.”
Muslims for Life organizers said the blood donations collected will be distributed to various hospitals in Northwest Arkansas.