A Muslim organization is using the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to collect thousands of pints of blood for use in hospitals across the country.
Naseem Mahdi, the National Vice President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, says the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were a wake-up call for moderate Muslims.
"Unfortunately many Americans received their first introduction to Islam on that horrible day," says Mahdi. "It was the worst possible introduction, by the worst people, under the worst conditions."
To honor the thousands who died ten years ago, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is holding a nationwide blood drive aimed at collecting more than 10,000 pints of blood. John Pinna of the American Islamic Congress says, in addition to mosques, churches, synagogues and Hindu temples have opened their doors to the blood drive.
"It demonstrates unity of mission," says Pinna. "Any religious community, any society community, any corporation, anybody could participate in this to help their fellow man, and that's just a basic tenant of being human, and that’s just kind of what we're all about."
Mack Benton of America’s Blood Centers says the drive could save tens of thousands of lives.
"One pint of blood has the ability to save up to three lives, so as they said their goal is to get 10,000 pints and that would equal out to about 30,000 pints," Benton says. "Of course, we always want more blood because it's actually the blood on the shelves that saves lives."
The groups will be collecting blood with the help of the American Red Cross on Capitol Hill on both the Sept. 7 and Sept. 9.
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