A group of Muslim Americans in Tulsa, Oklahoma has launched a new nonprofit called Muslims4Mercy to help show the Muslim community’s philanthropic work and help others better understand Islam. “Muslims, like everyone else, do a lot of community service,” says Aliye Shimi, vice president of the nonprofit. “That’s one of the huge tenets of the five big tenets of our faith. We’ve done that for years and years and years, but we’ve never really been recognized.”
Muslims4Mercy has many objectives for its organization.
The first is to deliver 100 meals after Friday religious services to people across Tulsa via their friendly yellow van. The group also provides hygiene kits, blankets, and other items to the homeless. “It’s all inclusive to everyone in the community regardless of skin color,” says Ms. Shimi. “We include everybody and help everyone we can.”
Another initiative is called “Mercy Chefs” – these chefs are refugee women or women who have been inflicted by domestic abuse. These women will work in women-run kitchens and offer catering services. “It’s very difficult for them to find employment where they are comfortable,” explains Ms. Shimi. “They’ll be able to provide for their families in a safe environment.”
The plan is for Mercy Chefs to open their own for profit café which is expected to launch next year.
According to the Oklahoma chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-OK), there are between 35,000 and 40,000 Muslim Americans in Oklahoma and the number is growing.