It’s been five years since the Boston Marathon bombings, and a local group continues to host a blood drive in honor of those affected.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Boston Chapter will host its fifth annual “Muslims for Life” blood drive at Boston City Hall on Wednesday, April 18.
This drive is part of the national Muslims for Life campaign, which the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community began in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
On the tenth anniversary of that tragedy, the community kicked off a national campaign to honor those victims and to “emphasize Islam’s essential teaching regarding the sanctity of life,” according to their website.
The national blood drive has collect more than 50,000 pints of blood across the country in commemoration of tragedies like 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings, the community said.
Muslims for Life partners with the American Red Cross, the Boston Athletic Association, the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston’s Children Hospital and more.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is headquartered in the United Kingdom and has more than 70 chapters in the United States.
The organization has positioned itself as one that “categorically rejects terrorism,” according to its website, and members have spoken out in the wake of tragedies as well as policy shifts that have affected the Muslim community.
After President Donald Trump announced an executive order restricting Muslim refugees in Jan. 2017, one member of the community, Kashif Chaudhry, wrote an op-ed for Huff Post.
Touching on the Muslims for Life campaign, Chaudhry wrote, “The aim of this initiative was to commemorate 9/11 victims and to honor their memories by shedding blood ― our own. As an organizer, I set up tens of blood drives with keen participation from members of the Muslim ― and non-Muslim ― communities.”
Chaudhry then moved to Boston in 2013 to pursue a cardiology fellowship, he wrote, and helped expand that effort to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“In the 7.5 years of my clinical training and practice in the United States, I have had the opportunity to care for thousands of fellow Americans,” he wrote in 2017. “And I am not alone. There are tens of thousands of Muslims like me, grateful for America’s refuge, and busy serving its people ― their people.”
Wednesday’s blood drive will be from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Boston City Hall.