Positive Muslim News

News about good things Muslims are doing in North America and around the world.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Muslims at mosque work overtime to take care of Hindu, Christian fisherfolk


Posted online: Thursday, December 30, 2004 at 0255 hours IST

CUDDALORE, DECEMBER 29: Rahmatullah is a tired man. He and his nephew have just returned to their masjid after burying an unknown Christian man, identifiable by the black thread with the little cross around the neck. They had not forgotten to put a makeshift bamboo cross on the burial mound.


In Cuddalore, the second hardest-hit town in Tamil Nadu when the killer waves came, a masjid and the local jamaat have emerged as the rallying point for thousands of fisherfolk—almost all of them Hindus and Christians. There are hardly any Muslim fishermen in Cuddalore, and most of the local Muslims are either traders—which explains the Hindi—or have NRI sons in the Gulf. There have been no Muslim casualties.


Within minutes of the tsunami striking Pudukuppam, Samayarpettah, Chinnoor and other little villages along the Cuddalore coast on Sunday morning, Younus had summoned his flock. Within half an hour, his men had left their shops and homes for the beaches in their goods vans, cars, two-wheelers and cycles, picking up and rushing the injured to hospitals.

By noon the Jamaat on its own had organised milk for a few hundred babies, and food for over 3,000 survivors. By evening, about 3,000 Muslim men were tending to over 10,000 Hindus and Christians in makeshift camps in the local schools.


For the last three days, the Jamaat has employed 24 cooks working round the clock to feed about 9,000-odd survivors. Some in the relief camps and others in the five battered villages. The administration provides the rice and milk, and the Jamaat buys the vegetables and everything else on its own. There are about 20,000 men under the Jamaat, and the huge community kitchens that it had been using for its frequent community feasts were immediately turned into relief kitchens.

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