A Windsor mosque and a Muslim food bank are urging the Muslim community to donate and help the needy during the Christmas time, CBC reported.
“If we don’t help them out, who’s going to help out?” said Sinan Yasarlar, the public relations director at the Windsor Mosque.
Yasarlar was referring to a partnership between the Windsor Islamic Social Welfare and Assistance (ISWA) and the mosque, as they kicked off their annual Christmas food drive — one of four they take part in throughout the year.
According to Dawud Aderinto, director of ISWA program which runs the food bank, they feed 450 families every month and donate to others throughout the year.
“On a monthly basis, we spend $6,000 to $10,000 [on food],” said Aderinto.
Yasarlar believes the experience he went through with his family during the 1980s was the main drive for him to get involved in helping the needy.
He was only 6 when his father was laid off.
“It’s little things like, ‘We can’t get that. We can’t go there’. We didn’t have a car, so we took the bus. We couldn’t afford a car,” said Yasarlar
“We had very simple furniture. We had maybe one rug. We didn’t live extravagantly,” Yasarlar said. “When my dad got me shoes, it meant a lot, so that means I must not have had new shoes for a long time.”
Mustafa Akyar, one of those who receive help from the food bank, said he was grateful for the help the food bank provides.
“It helps a lot,” said Akyar, who was once a truck driver, but botched surgery and Crohn’s disease left him on social assistance.
“Today there are a lot of people in need, so sure I appreciate it a lot.”
Gimil Khassim said he and his wife get by on a small pension.
“It helps a lot because things are very expensive these days,” he said.
Generosity and charity are generally considered a source of blessing and highly praised in Islamic Shari’ah.
Muslims are the fastest-growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.
Historically, Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.
Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population