In homage of 9/11 victims, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Students Organization (AMSO) held Muslims for Life, a blood drive, outside of the East Mall on Speedway on Tuesday afternoon.
AMSO hosted the blood drive as part of a week-long initiative to collect blood and clear up misconceptions about Muslims brought on by Islamic terrorists.
AMSO has been hosting the Muslims for Life Blood Drive for three years as part of a nationwide effort of donating blood to people in need of a transfusion.
Usama Malik, government senior and president of AMSO, said he felt the blood drive would honor the lives of victims, and also teach students the true teachings of Islamic culture.
“On Sept. 11, terrorists carrying the banner of Islam attacked the United States and took the lives of 3,000 innocent people,” Malik said. “Violence is not what Islamic culture is about — we believe in saving lives.”
Malik said he hopes the blood drive will have raise awareness about terrorism as well as reduce the amount of hostility received by the Muslim community around the world.
“After 9/11 our people were condemned by the actions of Islamic terrorists, and they are not a good representation of us,” Malik said. “They caused death, pain and terror, but we believe in love. What Muslims for Life hopes to accomplish is redress these horrible actions and save the lives of those that can be saved.”
AMSO paired up with the Blood Center of Central Texas for the first five days of the drive. The last two days will be facilitated by Scott & White Blood Center.
Gina Sawyer, Scott & White donor service recruiter, said she was excited to be on the UT campus and collect blood donations.
“Every pint saves three lives,” Sawyer said. “If we can get students to come out and donate blood it will be very helpful in cases of emergency.”
Sawyer said that, although Scott & White pairs up with many organizations to collect donations, she was very fond of Muslims for Life’s cause.
Ali Pasha, an economics senior and Muslims for Life volunteer, said he was happy to donate blood. He felt the events that happened on 9/11 united both American and Muslim cultures, but in the end the only course of action is for American Muslims to aid some of the damage.
“What we have been doing for the past three years is centered on the victims, everything that we do is for them,” Pasha said. “We send our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and we assure them that what occurred 12 years ago was not the true Islam.”