Friday, October 14, 2005

Baton Rouge Muslims, holla!

TOP CHUCK HUSTMYRE, Advocate, 10/8/05

After riding out the brutal winds of Hurricane Katrina at her home in New Orleans, Rita Jenkins thought she and her family had weathered the worst the storm had to offer.Then came the flood."That water just shot in and filled the streets," Jenkins recalled. "It was time for us to go."Jenkins and 17 members of her family piled into three cars and headed for higher ground. They intended to go to a little town -- Jenkins said she can't remember which one -- just past Lafayette, but they took the wrong exit off the interstate and ended up in Baton Rouge at the Islamic Complex on East Washington Street. There they sought directions, but found refuge instead.Like their Christian and Jewish counterparts throughout Baton Rouge and the surrounding area, the Islamic Complex and the nearby Islamic Center of Baton Rouge mobilized to help those forced to flee the New Orleans area. Soon the effort drew outside support, becoming an example of interfaith cooperation. Jenkins and her family were among nearly 100 New Orleans evacuees the Islamic Complex took in after Hurricane Katrina.

According to Mahmoud Jehad, an imam at the Islamic Center of Baton Rouge on West Chimes Street, the first night after the hurricane struck, 150 evacuees crowded into the center seeking shelter. Within a few days, that number had risen to more than 500, he said.Many of those who found help at the Islamic Center and at the Islamic Complex were not Muslim.Jehad said the faith of the evacuees was not important, only that they were in need. "It's a major tenet of Islam, kindness to fellow humans," he said. "We seek to help everybody."Imam Fahmee Sabree, of the Islamic Complex on East Washington Street, said the vast majority of people who sought refuge at the complex were Christian. (MORE)


At 6:59 AM, Blogger TheDevilIsInTheDetails said...

Be prepared for the next hurricane central or find another one that's similar. As the Boy Scouts say: "Be Prepared"!


Post a Comment

<< Home