Muslim ''religious places'' used for Victim Shelter

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Salam alaykum:
We were here in India when the tsunami hit on Dec. 26, in the early morning. We could feel the tremors shaking our beds as far away as we were from the earthquake (we were in Banaglore). We arrived in Chennai the very next day. Things here have been busy and folks are dealing with the situation as best they can.
Muslims are the unsung heroes of the day, and will probably never be accredited with their success in dealing with the most devastating disaster in centuries, nor will they likely be concerned about the lack of publicity. After all, Muslims do not do their charity to be seen by others. Mosques and madrasas (Islamic schools) throughout all the islands and coastal areas affected, were turned into refugee shelters for victims all over Asia. Food, shelter, clothing, medicines and comforting embraces awaited victims whether Christian, Muslim or Hindus. All were welcomed and all were cared for according to their particular religious needs. Special meals were prepared for Hindus (vegetarian). Search and rescue efforts produced a number of victims who had been given up for dead or lost at sea. Those with most serious injuries were taken to hospitals by boat or inland transportation.

Local Muslims knew the islands and were able to establish communication with other Muslim organizations to work together in what has proven to be the most expedient and efficient solution to this most impending crisis since the 1970, Bangladesh crisis, when 300,000 killed in cyclone. Government officials have acknowledged they could not even begin to establish comparable facilities for the tsunami victims, saying they would like to simply support whatever the Muslims are doing and encourage them to continue.

Western media has somehow overlooked these important contributions of the area mosques, schools and Muslim organizations for several days. While local and area media here in India and other places having been praising these magnanimous efforts, the western media could only acknowledge that "some refugee shelters were set up in schools and religious places."

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Salam alaykum,
Yusuf Estes

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