Update: A representative for Who Is Hussain Michigan responded to a request for comment. Dr. Aziza Askari, a spokesperson for the organization's Michigan chapter, told Refinery29 in an email that the donation was a matter of community. "There's much that we can do individually to help our neighbors. As Michiganders, it's our responsibility to take care of each other at times of need," Dr. Askari said.
This story was originally published at 11:30am.
A Muslim charity organization has donated 30,000 bottles of fresh water to the people of Flint, MI, as the city continues to struggle through its crisis of poisoned water. According to the Independent, the water was gathered by the Michigan chapter of a religious charity organization, Who Is Hussain. The organization, based out of London, says on its website that its mission is “to encourage people to give back and enact positive change in society,” in the example of a figure from Islamic tradition named Hussain. Who Is Hussain, Michigan did not reply to a request for comment on this story.
On Facebook, the group posted photos of members gathering the water for delivery. “Our first drop-off for the next eight weeks for Flint,” the caption reads. “It was an emotional feeling seeing the appreciation.”
Dearborn, where the Michigan chapter of Who Is Hussain is based, has one of the largest Muslim populations in the country. According to data from the 2000 U.S. Census, Arab-Americans were nearly 30% of the population in the city. And as stated by The Washington Post, Dearborn is the first city in America to elect a majority-Muslim council. The willingness of the local Muslim population to lend a hand is in stark contrast to local government officials. Besides accusations that Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan failed to adequately respond to the water crisis until it made national news, the governor has also been notable for his opposition to Muslims. In late 2015, Snyder was one of 30 state governors who said that they would not allow Syrian refugees to enter the state, due to fears of terrorism.