U.S. Muslims Urged to Help Tsunami Survivors

ACTION REQUESTED: (Washington, D.C., 12/27/04) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today asked members of the American Muslim community and all people of conscience worldwide to offer humanitarian assistance and pray for the victims in Sunday's tsunamis in southern Asia.

The Washington-based Islamic civil rights and advocacy group also expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

"We are deeply saddened by the news of the tragedy in southern Asia," said CAIR Chairman Omar Ahmad. "We extend our sincerest condolences to the families of those killed and pray for the speedy recovery of those injured as a result of the earthquake. CAIR is working on identifying relief organizations that will provide aid to the affected areas."

The underwater tremor - the world's biggest earthquake in 40 years - struck deep in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra, triggering tidal waves up to 30 feet high that obliterated villages and seaside resorts in six countries across southern Asia.

An estimated 20,000 people have been reported killed thus far in the devastation. As more information comes in from different countries, officials are expecting the death toll to rise.

HOW TO HELP

The following organizations have announced that they will take part in relief efforts to assist the victims of the earthquake:

ISLAMIC RELIEF WORLDWIDE RESPONSE launched an effort to get medical supplies, tents and sanitations facilities for the victims of the earthquake. To donate, send checks to Islamic Relief, 1919 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506, call (888) 479-4968, or visit: www.irw.org

ASIA RELIEF, a Maryland based nonprofit organization, is accepting donations of nonperishable food items, clothing and toys for victims of the tsunami in Sri Lanka. Cash donations are also being accepted. To contribute, drop off donations anytime at 19409 Olive Tree Way, Gaithersburg, MD, 20879. Contact Seyed Rizwan Mowlana at 301-672-9355 for more information.

ISLAMIC CIRCLE OF NORTH AMERICA (ICNA) Relief has established an Indonesia, India & Seri Lanka Relief Fund to provide food, medicine, clothes, tents & other urgently needed supplies. To donate, visit www.ReliefOnLine.org or send checks to 166-26 89th Ave Jamaica, NY 11432, Tel.718-68-7028.

The INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT societies in south Asia have begun to mobilize staff and volunteers to affected areas to assist with the immediate needs. Emergency assessment and first-aid teams have already reached some of the affected areas.

Call 1-800-435-7669. Contributions to the International Response Fund may be sent to your local American Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Internet users can make a secure online contribution by visiting www.redcross.org.

CARE Australia teams from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Thailand are traveling to affected areas to gauge the impact of the disaster. Donations can be made through the CARE Australia website (www.careaustralia.org.au) or by phoning 1-800-020-046.

Other relief organizations that have established similar funds should notify CAIR by sending an e-mail to: cair@cair-net.org. Additional names will be added to a list on CAIR's website, www.cair.com.

CAIR, America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has 29 regional offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

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