Pakistani Muslims Reach Out to Phoenix Community

February 8, 2003

Source: The Arizona Republic

On February 8, 2003 The Arizona Republic reported that "four years ago some Pakistani Muslims living in the Phoenix area started serving meals at homeless shelters, building homes with Habitat for Humanity and pitching in around the community wherever they could... They saw it as a way to give back to their adopted country, a country where they have prospered. It was also a way to educate others about a culture and religion most Americans know little about... But that changed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when, they say, ignorance turned into fear, suspicion and mistrust, feelings that spike each time the government raises the national terrorism alert, as it did again Friday... Members of the Pakistan Information and Culture Organization say their work has taken on a greater sense of urgency since the terrorist attacks. By volunteering in the community, they hope to offset negative images depicting Muslims as terrorists and Pakistan as a haven for Muslim extremists."