Ramadan hero! Muslim American man donates blood for Orlando victims, goes viral online
Mahmoud ElAwadi, an Egyptian-American, shared photos of himself donating blood following the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. (Facebook)
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The horrific shooting that claimed 50 lives in Orlando, Florida, has given news outlets and Donald Trump another opportunity to sing anti-Muslim hatred across the US.
The White House hopeful has redoubled calls for temporarily banning Muslims, saying they would only be allowed in the US if they were "properly and perfectly" screened.
But one Orlando local has taken it upon himself to ensure that his religion doesn't bear the brunt of the crime. Despite fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, 36-year-old Mahmoud ElAwadi donated blood to the injured, along with hundreds of others from the Muslim community.
He told Khaleej Times, "There were humans who got hurt and shot at during our holy month of Ramadan. As a Muslim, the least I could do was to donate my blood to them. At the end of the day they are human beings. And Ramadan is all about giving. It's all about helping the needy. And what better cause than saving someone's life."
Another reason for his gesture, Mahmoud added, "My 12-year-son was diagnosed with leukaemia three years ago. For six months, random strangers donated blood to him to save his life. I don't know who they were, what was their religion, their nationality or skin colour, or their sexual orientation. Quite frankly it didn't matter. My son survived, thanks to them. I am in debt to all of those people."
A picture posted by him on Facebook as he donated blood -- has been shared more than 150,000 times - as Muslims across the world echoed his thoughts. In another post, he called upon Muslims to unite and donate blood.
Mahmoud, who leads a local Muslim community group in Orlando, moved from Egypt to the United States 14 years ago. Throughout these years he said the media has been portraying Islam in a negative light.
"We are Muslims. Our own religion has been hijacked from us. And sadly we let it go, we didn't fight, we didn't do anything to show the world our true peaceful religion. We didn't actually go on the ground and get in touch with our local community. And that's why I want Muslims to come out in large numbers and donate blood."