Communities Minister Andrew Stunnell has praised an Islamic community’s services to humanity on the occasion of the launch of a new blood donation drive at London’s oldest purpose-built mosque.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is organising the blood donations as part of the community’s commitment to be of service to Queen and country. It is being launched on Thursday 2 February 2012 at the Fazl Mosque (also known as the London Mosque) in Southfields, Putney.
Andrew Stunell, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:
“All faith communities have within their teaching, the values of compassion, care and social justice. One of the ways that their members put these values into everyday practice is by giving to others. The Ahmadiyya Muslim community has long served local communities. Charity walks have raised over a million pounds and their work with the National Blood Service (NBS) has been running for the past decade. With more than 1,200 units of blood collected last year, the target this year is 2,000 units. This is a very valuable, practical initiative to promote social action. I wish your campaign every success.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community -one of the first Muslim communities in Britain- believes that giving blood and saving lives is a potent symbol of a life-affirming faith.
Members of the community have been involved in donating blood to blood banks, and blood centres have been established at a number of mosques across the country. This includes western Europe’s biggest mosque in Morden and other Ahmadiyya Muslim mosques in Birmingham, east London, Manchester and Glasgow.
The blood donations sessions are open to all, and have proved popular with local residents.
Fahim Anwer, National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association said:
“We have been working with the National Blood Service for the past decade and since 2003 a number of our centres have become permanent venues as there is a shortage of south Asian donors.
In London our permanent venues are Fazl Mosque in Putney, Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, and Baitul Ahad Mosque in Newham. In the Midlands the Darul Barakat Mosque is a permanent fixture whilst in the North we operate Masjid Al Mahdi in Bradford, Darul Aman Mosque in Manchester and Baitur Rehman Mosque Glasgow as blood donation centres. More than 15 sessions are held throughout the year as part of our effort to save lives.
The busiest sessions are in London with the Fazl Mosque being oversubscribed and at least 40% of donors being from outside the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. We are working with the NBS to establish further centres and, apart from this, our youth take part in external sessions.
Giving blood helps to save lives, and in this respect it is an act of faith. The giving of blood is symbolic of providing lifeblood for humanity and Ahmadi Muslims are committed to the service and benefit of mankind.
Through our charitable donations, our fundraising programmes for charities and our community work programmes, we demonstrate our commitment to good citizenship in line with our principle of Love for All Hatred for None. As a community, we are dedicated to peace and contributing to the well-being of the country.”