INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Hoosier hospitality is ringing true as thousand of have donated to the Afghan refugees at Camp Atterbury. Muslim leaders say as soon as the call for help went out, the community responded in a big way. But there’s still a long way to go before meeting the needs of thousands.
Ahmed Alamine, Imam at the Masjid Al Fajr mosque, says looking out for your fellow man is key part of Muslim teaching.
“We were so happy that Camp Atterbury was one of the places where the refugees would be temporarily settled. And instantly we decided to activate the Muslim task force,” he said.
Initially, hygiene items topped the list of immediate needs — and the needs were met in abundance. Both adults and children helped pack care packages.
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“I understand that there is a spiritual need and there is a mental support need because these families came from a war-torn country and they are coming to a new society,” said Alamine.
This type of support is happening around Central Indiana. Nearly every mosque is collecting the necessary items needed laid out by the Red Cross and Team Rubicon: the organization coordinating efforts at Camp Atterbury.
The Muslim Alliance also play a key role. Fatima Hussain is board president.
“It’s been amazing the way that our community has been able to mobilize fairly quickly. What started off as a handful of individuals collecting donations or new items has now pretty quickly scaled up to every local mosque,” Hussain said.
The immediate needs have now shifted to new or gently used culturally appropriate clothing, including pants for both men and women and shoes for kids. Hussain said she wants the evacuees to know that Hoosiers are thinking about them beyond just pants and shirts — the community cares about their emotional and spiritual well-being.”