With gift cards, roses, and billboard, a Chicago Muslim organization has launched a new Ramadan education and outreach campaign to connect Muslims with fellow community members.
“Ramadan — A Month of Healing & Hope for Humanity” was created by GainPeace, an outreach project of the Islamic Circle of North America and the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago to address misconceptions about Islam and encourage community gift giving, Chicago Sun Times.
Gregory Abdullah Mitchell, executive director of CIOGC, said the holy month of Ramadan is not only about fasting.
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“It also is a call for us to be of service to humanity,” Mitchell said. “We believe an important form of service is to raise awareness of the commonality among all mankind.”
As American comes under a new administration with lift of travel ban, the campaign was urged to correct misconceptions about Islam.
“The type of solidarity that we saw from our fellow Americans, whether they were Christians or Jews or Hindus or Sikhs or any other faith — or no faith — was really inspiring and moving to us,” Suzanne Akhras Sahoul, founder and executive director of the Syrian Community Network, said.
“We’re hoping that we can come together in this campaign to continue building the relationships that have been formed in the last four years because we don’t want to lose those allies.”
Mitchell said the campaign in Chicago and other cities nationwide is set to last four weeks and outreach efforts will extend “well beyond the month of Ramadan.”
GainPeace Director Sabeel Ahmed said a large part of “Ramadan — A Month of Healing & Hope for Humanity” is sending postcards and gift bags to connect with neighbors and raise awareness about Ramadan.
Muslim families and children will create and distribute customized gift bags with sweet treats, a coffee mug and informational pamphlets about the holy month to neighbors.
Ahmed said his sixth-grade daughter created GainPeace’s official Ramadan blessings card.
“At the end of the day, we want to show to our fellow Americans that Islam is not a threat but a blessing for humanity,” Ahmed said.
By the end of Ramadan, the Muslim community will give out more than 2,000 gift bags in the Chicago area and sent 50,000 postcards to people across the US.
Ramadan is the 9th month of the Hijri Islamic calendar. It commemorates the first revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad.
From dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from food, drinking liquids, smoking, and engaging in sexual relations).
This is not the first campaign by GainPeace to educate people about Islam.
In February 2019, the group put a billboard campaign to inform people about hijab and counter misconceptions triggered by politics.
Another campaign, titled “Truthful Man”, came up in 2017 to educate Americans on the true manners of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).