Islamic Charity Festival in Tampa, Florida

March 31, 2003

Source: St. Petersburg Times

On March 31, 2003 the St. Petersburg Times reported that "after war broke out in Iraq, organizers of... the annual Islamic Charity Festival [in Tampa, FL]... discussed postponing the festival, which local Muslims hold to offer food and clothing to mostly non-Muslim needy residents... Corporations could be counted on in past years to provide soft drinks and clothes... But this year, 'nothing,' said festival vice chairman Rasheed "Sam" Hakki, a local Muslim and orthopedic surgeon... 'The corporations are afraid to donate,' he said... 'Afraid (Attorney General John) Ashcroft will knock on their door and call them terrorist(s) because they give to a Muslim charity...' The annual Islamic Charity Festival, now in its seventh year, is organized by the Tampa Bay Muslim Alliance, an umbrella group that represents 18 organizations, including area mosques, schools and community centers... The festival marks the end of Eid-ul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, celebrated in March. It's not a festival with singing and dancing. It's focus is strickly charity, with Muslims helping many non-Muslims."