By Tim Camerato 90.5 WESA
Pittsburgh — “Muslims for Life” is holding a blood drive in Wilkinsburg Monday as part of a national campaign to collect 12,000 pints of blood and save an estimated 36,000 lives.
Adnan Ahmed, an organizer for the event, said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community launched the campaign in 2011, on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
“On that particular day, not only those planes, but also the religion of Islam we believe was hijacked by painting a wrong and militant picture of the religion,” said Ahmed. “And the terrorist extremists have created suspicion of all Muslims.”
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA is the first American-Muslim organization. Its international parent group was founded in 1899 and currently spans 200 countries.
Ahmed said that, in their first and second years, they collected about 11,000 pints of blood.
He said the blood drives are a way of telling Americans that Muslims hold life sacred and “are here to save lives, not take lives.”
Ahmed said Muslims for Life held close to 200 blood drives since August and collected about 11,300 pints of blood. He hopes the Wilkinsburg drive will help them reach their goal of 12,000 by Wednesday.
Ahmed said the drives have been well received by he communities they’re held in.
“We have held these blood drives in our mosque as well, and in different churches with the Christian faith, and in Jewish synagogues, in universities, in hospitals,” said Ahmed. “So we have received excellent appreciation from the community, from community members, from interfaith groups, and, by the grace of God, the response has been excellent so far.”
The blood drive runs Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Wilkinsburg Borough Building. People can make an appointment through the Central Blood Bank’s website.