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  • Writer's pictureShia Muslim Foundation

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

(LANDOVER, MD) On March 5, 2022, volunteers from the Shia Muslim Foundation came together to distribute food and groceries to the Afghan refugee community in Landover, Maryland. Over $2,500 in groceries were purchased, and distributed to approximately 30 families.

Unfortunately, their situation is much more tragic than most have realized. When volunteers were beginning to distribute the foods, a young girl wearing hijab, no more than 12 years old, ran across the road to ask the team, in broken English, if she could have some food.

She said her family didn’t have enough. It was only by chance she was walking on the road at that time and happened to see us, and she took the responsibility to try and get food for her family. This is because she knew there weren’t any other opportunities. Imagine the life that the refugees live, that even a little child knows to look for ways to feed the family.

This story was repeated over and over throughout the day. A mother with her two small children came. Two brothers came, and one of them said his wife was too sick to leave their home. Others reported that nearby Afghanis were so hungry that their clothes were falling off of them.

As much as they are struggling, they continually let us know that others are worse off than them. They are looking out for each other.

Despite the hard times, each of the refugees had a smile on their face. They have hope. It is up to us to fulfill this hope.

The Shia Muslim Foundation will return to donate more groceries in April 2022, just before Ramadhan. Please support our efforts with a donation.

  • Writer's pictureShia Muslim Foundation

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

(WASHINGTON DC – March 4, 2022) The Shia Muslim Foundation condemns today’s attack on a Shia mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan and mourns the lost lives of the innocent worshippers killed in the attack. Terrorist attacks like these are a scourge on the entire world, and attacks upon innocent lives directly contradict the teachings of Islam.

According to CNN, “A blast struck a Shia mosque during Friday prayers in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, killing at least 56 people and injuring another 196.”[1] Reports indicate that the attack began with gunfire, followed by a suicide bombing. Peshawar police were also injured in the attack.

Shia Muslims in Pakistan have regularly been the victims of terror attacks, and Pakistani authorities have with equal regularity failed in their duty to protect their citizenry in this regard. The Shia Muslim Foundation calls upon the government Pakistan to investigate this incident as an act of terrorism against all Pakistanis, and to prosecute those responsible to the fullest extent of the law.

Shia Rights Watch tracks worldwide incidents of anti-Shiaism, and in a May 2021 report said “Despite promises of protecting Shia Muslims against violence, Shia Rights Watch notes no explicit security or counterterror measures have been announced across Pakistan. Shia Muslims report experience living in fear of being targeted by terrorists which run rampant all over the nation.”[2]

Nearly 4,000 Shia Muslims are estimated to have died in sectarian attacks in Pakistan between 1997 and 2007.[3]

[1] Saifi S. Dozens killed in blast at Shia mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar. CNN. Published March 4, 2022. Accessed March 4, 2022. [2] Zahraa Akhwand. Incidents of Anti-Shiism, May 2021. Shia Rights Watch. Published June 10, 2021. Accessed March 4, 2022.‌ [3] Montero D. Shiite-Sunni conflict rises in Pakistan. The Christian Science Monitor. Published February 2, 2007. Accessed March 4, 2022.

The Shia Muslim Foundation is deeply concerned and condemning of the recent anti-Shia incident at the University of Connecticut. On Monday, February 7, 2022, the university distributed turbahs, which are pieces of clay that Shia Muslims use during prayer, to the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut and the wellness and meditation space in Homer Babbidge Library, the two main prayer areas on campus for Muslim students. The turbahs were donations from Iraq. However, the next day, the Ahlul Bayt Student Association at UConn, an organization for Shia Muslim students, discovered that the turbahs at the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut had been vandalized and thrown out.

According to the president of the Ahlul Bayt Student Association, Safina Bibi, this is not the first time that anti-Shia incidents have occurred at the University of Connecticut. Bibi stated, "There’s been years of anti-Shia rhetoric that has occurred at the ICUC… I’ve always heard stories about how the ICUC has not been welcoming to Shias.” The Ahlul Bayt Student Association released a statement condemning the incident and calling for a formal apology and accountability for the responsible individuals.

In response, the University of Connecticut’s Muslim Student Association released a statement clarifying that the individuals responsible for the vandalism were not students or members of the Muslim Student Association, nor were they affiliated with the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut board. The Muslim Student Association also condemned the incident and stated, "REGARDLESS OF THE REASONING, THAT INDIVIDUAL HAD NO RIGHT TO DESTROY THE PROPERTY OF SHIA STUDENTS." The Muslim Student Association also claimed that the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut board had expressed apologies to the Ahlul Bayt Student Association, offering to pay for the turbahs and meet with them regarding their concerns. However, the Ahlul Bayt Student Association stated that they never received a direct apology and that the Islamic Center of the University of Connecticut board has not followed through on meeting with them.

The Shia Muslim Foundation strongly condemns any form of anti-Shia hatred and calls for a thorough investigation into this incident. We stand in solidarity with Shia Muslims at the University of Connecticut and urge all parties involved to work towards promoting a culture of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect among followers of different religions and ways of thinking.

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