—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA Relief USA) has now allocated $250,000 to help those made homeless by the Katrina disaster; urges public to support emergency relief, reconstruction.
ICNA Relief Katrina Victims Help Emergency Camp Office in Baton Rouge, LA
Contact Person(s): Br. Masqsood & Br. Ayub Badat
Katrina Relief Coordination: Farrukh Raza 732-593-7017; firstname.lastname@example.org
TO DONATE TOLL FREE: 1-866-354-0102
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (September 1, 2005) – With great destructive power, Hurricane Katrina has caused widespread flooding along the Gulf Coast, with martial law and dangerous conditions in New Orleans, Louisiana, Gulfport, Mississippi, as well as many other cities and towns. Thousands are homeless. According to Biloxi Mayor AJ Holloway, “This is our Tsunami”.
In coordination with other relief agencies, the Islamic Circle of North America is mobilizing its volunteers in Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, & Mississippi chapters to provide assistance to victims in News Orleans and surrounding areas. Br. Irfan Khurshid, Acting Executive Director of ICNA Relief USA, stated: “We are taking this very seriously. So many are affected. We call on all Muslims to support our efforts as they expand in the coming days. Recovery will take many months, if not years.”
“He is the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days – and His domain was completely covered with water – this to test you, to distinguish those among you who work righteousness (al Hud, 7)”
ICNA Relief Response
As a member of New York Disaster Interfaith Services (NYDIS), as well as Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, ICNA Relief USA has been consulting with many of the largest and most well established disaster relief organizations as they assess the emergency.
The ICNA Relief board has now allocated $250,000 to the Katrina relief efforts, and a relief center has been established in Baton Rouge with Internet ready computers for field effort coordination. FEMA and other partners have been contacted. Former ICNA Relief Executive Director Brother Tariq will be joining the operation on Saturday.
We currently have over 40 families being accommodated in Baton Rouge; we are obtaining a warehouse for emergency housing for 150 families; have obtained leases for 12 apartments so far for resettlement; all meals are being provided. Further work is unfolding on behalf of 50 families in Alexandria, LA and elsewhere; we are coordinating volunteers, planning fundraising, mobile clinics etc, for short and long term action plans.
Our website is http://www.reliefonline.org and fliers can be obtained at: http://www.reliefonline.org/flyers/katrinaFlyer.pdf
Request to Community
We have been asked by Jeremiah Dameron of New York’s Office of Emergency Management: “Please help us spread the message to local community groups, houses of worship and organizations that we should not be collecting “stuff” for the victims. Doing so will only create a second disaster. However, most organizations are in need of monetary donations to help rebuild the local communities.”
ICNA Relief urges Muslims to earmark donations for the victims of the flood. Just as the community was generous to the victims of the Asian tsunami, let us not forget these our fellow Americans in their time of need. Please be generous. To donate, visit www.reliefonline.org or call Br. Adem at ICNA Relief’s New York Office: 718 658 7028 (email@example.com)
With the help of Islamic Center of Baton Rouge, ICNA Relief is providing shelter, food and drinking water to many displaced families. We are also very happy to hear that some families have space to stay in the masajid and with area families. However, in the coming days we may need other volunteers.
Our close colleague Ken Curtin of the Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) has commended ICNA Relief USA for our offer to provide volunteers, and on his advice we are collecting names of volunteers with specific skills and tools in the region, as well as doctors and counselors. If you wish to offer please contact Br. Farrukh Raza, ICNA Relief’s National Coordinator for Katrina Victims Relief Efforts at firstname.lastname@example.org.