by JuJuBe (Joanna)
The climate in the United States in recent years has been decidedly anti-Muslim. Many Americans have the idea that Muslims are all filled with hatred for non-Muslim people. That Muslims look at Americans as "infidels" and wish only death upon them. But, through the efforts of an interfaith coalition in Detroit, Muslims have taken the opportunity to reach out to the Christian community this Christmas.
DETROIT (WXYZ) - Early Christmas morning, hundreds of Muslim-Americans turned out to help their Christian friends by doing the volunteer work that they would normally do. Muslims say this is a way to allow Christians to celebrate the Holiday by stepping in to provide meals to seniors and distributing toys to needy children.This is the type of story that people tend to overlook. No one seems to want to hear stories of people helping people, regardless of religion or race. I think the service these volunteers are performing this Christmas is a beautiful thing. I wish people would give stories like this the same type of attention they give stories of hatred and bigotry.
The volunteers began the day at the Community Access Center on W. Vernor in southwest Detroit, and Saturday's effort came out of an interfaith collaboration by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Michigan and the Jewish Community Relations Council. This year since Christmas falls on the Jewish Sabbath, the need was greater than ever to have Muslim-Americans help deliver the toys and food to Detroit neighborhoods.
Many of the toys being delivered to families today were donated by the organization known as Jimmy's Kids.(Source)
These Muslim volunteers are truly exhibiting the spirit of giving that seems to be forgotten in the frenzy of consumerism that Christmas has become. THIS is what Christmas is about. It is about sharing, caring and giving. And, performing good works is NOT restricted to people who have similar religious beliefs.
Many individuals call for us to "keep the Christ in Christmas". Many are dismayed at the blatant commercialization of the holiday. I say that Christ is not what makes Christmas so great. No, instead it is the spirit of giving the holiday inspires in all of us. And the Muslims who volunteered to spend Christmas day performing charitable work for their Christian neighbors exemplify that spirit.
H/T Wood Turtle