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Muslim Aid Builds Oklahoma Bridges
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Despite facing tough days under a devastating storm in Oklahom, the Muslim community have rushed to help clear up their central state, in an effort to build new bridges with their neighbors.
"As Oklahomans, we're part of this community, and our hearts just break for what happened," Adam Soltani, executive director of the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CIAR), told Religion News Service (RNS).
"We want to show the compassion and mercy that Islam teaches us."
At least 24 people have been killed after a massive tornado ripped through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore earlier this week.
Trapping victims beneath the rubble, the deadly storm destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, wiped out two schools and a hospital and left hundreds of people injured, including many children.
Emergency workers have pulled more than 100 survivors from the rubble of homes, schools and a hospital.
Following the storm, Muslims have launched campaigns to provide relief for families of the victims.
While Muslim-American organizations have routinely provided emergency aid following natural disasters, Muslim efforts in the city were special because of the anti-Muslim sentiment in the state.
While several states have passed laws forbidding courts from considering Islamic Shari`ah, in their decisions, Oklahoma is the only one to have done it twice.
The Grand Mosque of Oklahoma City has also been vandalized twice in the last two years, most recently on April 27.
A police captain in Tulsa even went to court to avoid having to attend a “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day” at the Islamic Society of Tulsa.