IMPACT
01/08/2015 02:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Muslim Groups Give $100,000 To Help Detroiters Without Water, Say It's 'Part Of Our Faith To Help'

Nicole Hill holds up her past due water bill at her home in Detroit Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Detroit Water department spokes
Nicole Hill holds up her past due water bill at her home in Detroit Wednesday, June 25, 2014. Detroit Water department spokeswoman Curtrise Garner says service to 4,500 customers was cut last month, but more than half then paid up. Garner says about $90 million is owed by 90,000 active customers who are behind at least two months. United Nations experts say water shutoffs at Detroit homes due to overdue bills violate international human rights. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Two Islamic organizations are alleviating Detroit's water crisis with a generous donation that'll benefit some of the city's poorest residents.

Islamic Relief USA and the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC) have donated $100,000 to the Detroit Water Fund and Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency to help the groups assist Detroiters with making their water bill payments, the Associated Press reported.

Beginning last spring, the city has been shutting off water for residents with overdue balances -- a move the United Nations deemed a human rights violation.

More than 31,300 residents have had their water turned off since January 2013, the AP reported.

At a press conference on Wednesday, officials noted that both Islamic Relief USA (the largest Muslim charity organization in the U.S.) and the MMCC agreed to give $50,000 each in funds earmarked for residents with past-due accounts with the water department, The Detroit News reported.

"We are hoping this is going to be contagious," Anwar Khan, CEO of Islamic Relief USA, said in a statement, according to the Detroit News. "The most important thing we have is not our money, it's our energy and our enthusiasm, and it's our people … Also, it is important to us in our faith to help our neighbors. It is a part of our faith to help our friends."

HuffPost blogger Engy Abdelkader spoke to Dr. Muzammil Ahmed, chair of the MMCC, about Detroit shutting off water to some of its most vulnerable residents -- an act the chair called "outrageous."

Ahmed said he'd brainstormed with Islamic Relief USA's leadership and local city officials on how to help a community in need. Ultimately, they decided on giving water -- "the best form of charity, according to Islamic tradition."

"There is a lot of frustration and pessimism among Muslims, and people of faith in general, due to the horrific things that have been done in the name of God and religion over the past year," Dr. Ahmed said, according to Abdelkader's blog. "But there are far more wonderful things that can be done and that are being done, inspired by our faith and our love for our fellow neighbors."

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