Houston mosques open doors to Hurricane Harvey victims on Eid

Photo made available by the Texas Military Department shows Texas National Guard soldiers arriving to aid citizens in heavily flooded areas

Mosques in the U.S. city of Houston served as temporary shelter for hundreds of Hurricane Harvey victims last week as they were preparing to celebrate Eid al-Adha.

There is an estimated 250,000 Muslims who live across the Houston area, one of the most diverse cities in the U.S.

During the Hurricane Harvey disaster, Houston’s Muslim community opened many of its community centres and sent hundreds of volunteers to serve food and deliver donations.

“Look, helping is a total no-brainer. You don’t even have to discuss or debate it,” said M.J. Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston. “It’s part of our faith and part of being human. I always feel that this is why God created human beings: for us to help each other.”

As Muslim families were celebrating Eid al-Adha, they also distributed blankets, clothes, and food packs.

As in other catastrophes – from Superstorm Sandy in October 2012 to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 9/11 attacks – American Muslims have been both victims and participants in the recovery effort.

In a four-day period, many areas in Texas received more than 40 inches of rain, causing catastrophic flooding.

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The floods inundated hundreds of thousands of homes, displaced more than 30,000 people and prompted more than 17,000 rescues.

Hurricane Harvey has caused at least 66 confirmed deaths. Economic losses are estimated at between $70 to $190 billion, with a large portion of the losses sustained by uninsured homeowners.

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