By Linda Brill

King-TV Channel 5

September 29, 2007

SEATTLE – Local Muslims surprised homeless men and women on the streets of Seattle with gifts Saturday.

The act of charity was part of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, and part of Muslim Humanitarian Day, which is celebrated in many other cities.

In the Muslim faith, generously giving to the poor is an essential duty.

“There’s so much media about what people see as Muslims being terrorists … or something crazy like that,” said Faiyaz Farouk. “In actuality, Muslims are very peace-loving, giving people.”

Sandwiches, blankets, hats, first aid kits and toiletries were distributed regardless of ethnic or religious background. While Humanitarian Day was started three years ago in Los Angeles, this was the first time it happened in Seattle.

“I think this is a good opportunity to show Seattle we are humans and we are Americans like everyone else,” Farouk said.

Medical services were also on hand. Many of the homeless patients hadn’t been checked in months or years.

Some of the items in Saturday’s charity drive were provided by Fred Meyer and Group Health Cooperative.

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