The work of Muslim charities in supporting vulnerable people at winter is badly undervalued, according to a new study.
The all-party parliamentary group on British Muslims found Islamic organisations provide a wide range of services aimed at helping the least well-off – from food parcels for homeless people to thermal clothing for older residents.
The group’s report “A Very Merry Muslim Christmas” found it was difficult to quantify just how many people are receiving assistance because much of the work is going on under the radar.
British Muslim charities haven’t received the kind of attention they deserve.
The group, chaired by Tory MP Anna Soubry and Labour MP Wes Streeting, stated: “British Muslim charities haven’t received the kind of attention they deserve.
“At this time of year, when Muslim charities are working alongside many other faith-based charities to spread good cheer, peace on earth and goodwill to all, we hope our preliminary findings highlights and celebrates their work.”
In the past year, Sufra NW London (pictured above) provided emergency food aid parcels for almost 4,000 people. The foodbank also runs a kitchen project and holds advice surgeries.
The Al Mizan Charitable Trust has handed out 1,300 “winter warmer” packs to people sleeping on the streets of London, Manchester and Birmingham.
And the Grenfell Muslim Response Unit, set up after the terrible fire at the tower bloc, was at the forefront of relief and support efforts for families affected by the tragedy.
The MPs said some media coverage had mischaracterized the work of organisations rooted in British communities.
“And as with most coverage on Islam and Muslims in our media, the bad behaviour of a few individuals sees the many tarnished with the same brush,” the parliamentary group report stated.
“But such perceptions of British Muslims, and of British Muslim charities in particular, are wide of the mark.”