Muslim leaders in Orlando are taking a stand against the violent terrorist attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. On Saturday night, dozens of people showed up to take part in a blood drive and vigil in honor of the victims.
“As a Muslim, part of our faith is helping other people and this is one way to help other people,” said Labeed Choudry, who donated blood.
Choudhry drove from West Palm Beach to Orlando just to give blood. He said donating is one way of showing not all Muslims are violent.
“I’m O positive, so I’m a universal donor. So my blood is more beneficial than other people, so I take the extra step to give as much blood as possible,” said Choudhry.
Labeed wasn’t only in Orlando to give blood. He also took part in Saturday’s prayer vigil at a local mosque. The vigil was held to remember those who had passed away in San Bernardino and to pray for the injured. People also prayed for peace.
“My loyalty is with the U.S. because that’s where I live,” said Wejeeh Bajwa, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community.
Bajwa said he wants Central Floridians to know that even though he was born in a different country, it doesn’t make him different. He hopes good deeds by local Muslims aren’t overshadowed by a few in the religion that give it a bad name.
“When you want to do good things and you know it’s worth it, you have to make that little bit of extra effort,” said Choudhry.