“The Council on American-Islamic Relations Arizona generally makes it out to about 15 mosques throughout Arizona during Ramadan to pitch their organization to worshippers in the hopes that it’ll bolster donations, with executive director Imraan Siddiqi adding that it gets approximately one-third of its yearly donations during the month.
He said that the Muslim community has been “extremely vigilant” in following stay-at-home orders, but that that means there will be no real opportunity to tell large groups of people face-to-face how his organization is helping the community.
Siddiqi said CAIR is well-equipped to raise money online using tools such as Facebook fundraisers, and that the organization is sending mailers to its donor base, but that their efforts this year are unlikely to match those in years past.
“Being there in person, being able to tangibly hand them your materials, seeing somebody up close who’s speaking to you, that’s going to tug at your heartstrings more than if I’m doing Facebook Live or some kind of livestream and they can scroll down on their timeline,” he said.
He added that financial uncertainty many people are experiencing will likely also play a role in the lower donations this year.
Siddiqi said he would consider it a success if CAIR were to get half of its typical Ramadan donations, but said he’s not too worried.
“I don’t see this as a crisis, as something that’s gonna last forever,” he said. “You just have to come out of it and be really disciplined and aggressive in terms of making up whatever those shortfalls are.”
Siddiqi said organizations like his “still have to go out there and do your best” to raise money because of what’s at stake if those organizations have to end their services.
CAIR AZ works to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil liberties and empower American Muslims.
“Hate does not stop, no matter what the public health crisis is,” he said. “Hate is something that people capitalize off of during a crisis. It’s important to have institutions in place to protect people’s rights and advocate on behalf of those communities.”
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