“Islamic Relief USA’s chief executive officer, Anwar Ahmad Khan, welcomed a room packed full of American Muslims and supporters to an Eid luncheon at the Rayburn House building on Capitol Hill on June 27 to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The luncheon, Islamic Relief’s 7th annual celebration, attracted 25 honorary co-hosts and 14 letters of endorsement. Khan described Islamic Relief’s vital work around the world, including in South Sudan, where people were eating grass until his organization stepped in to help. “It’s our job, as members of the human race, to help,” Khan noted. “Our faith urges us to feed the needy.” He reminded listeners that a video of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sharing an iftar meal with Muslims went viral, with six million downloads in one day. Khan was too polite and studiously non-partisan to belabor the fact that the current U.S. president broke with a 20-year tradition by not hosting a White House iftar.
Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-MI) gave perhaps the most moving testimony, describing how Islamic Relief stepped up to distribute clean drinking water to his constituents exposed to high levels of lead in their water in Flint, MI. “Long after the cameras left, Islamic Relief continued to help my community in their moment of greatest need. I take that personally,” Kildee said. “Your actions represent the values of Islam in ways no words can ever do.” He then welcomed “my brother from another mother, Keith Ellison (D-MN),” to the mic. ”
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