Muslim Teens Clean Up National Parks While Trump Goes On Anti-Islam Rant

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During the 2016 presidential campaigns, Donald Trump appealed to his racist, xenophobic voters by insisting that Muslims, as a whole, hate America. Now, they’re cleaning up the mess those voters created by electing Trump to the presidency.

CNN quotes the president of a Muslim youth group, who spent volunteer time cleaning up national parks during the government shutdown, as saying:

‘Service to our nation and cleanliness are important parts of Islam. We could not sit idly by as our national parks collected trash. We will lead by example and dispose of this garbage appropriately and invite all Americans to join us in these parks and others across the nation.’

Unlike Trump, these Muslim teens understand the importance of our national parks and the environmental hazards caused by the shutdown. People from across the country joined in as the youth groups raised awareness and brought them together.

‘Group members were joined by people from the general public who contacted the group through social media, spokesperson Salaam Bhatti told CNN, adding that the response to their efforts has been “overwhelmingly positive.”
‘Bhatti said members regularly participate in community cleanups, carried out as part of their faith. The group has logged almost 200,000 hours in clean-up projects since 2016, according to Bhatti.’

The group is part of a national charter of Muslim teen volunteers. Their aim is to increase visibility of American followers of Islam and change the narrative that has been created around them with the help of racists like Trump.

‘The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association is the largest of its kind in the US, with more than 70 chapters and 5,000 members, all males aged 7 to 40.
‘Bhatti said more than 60 percent of Americans do not personally know a Muslim, and community efforts like these increase dialogue with members of other religious groups.’

The government shutdown has caused many problems. Currently, 800,000 federal workers are going without paychecks. TSA employees are calling in sick, leaving our airports at risk. Thanks to these Muslim teens, however, one of the problems created by the shutdown is being addressed.

‘National Parks have been largely closed to the public since the shutdown began December 22. In a press release Sunday, the National Park Service said it had “explored a number of options to address the maintenance and sanitation issues that have arisen at a number of highly visited parks,” and will now use fee revenues to clean up trash and restrooms.’

Featured image via Flickr by Ninara under a Creative Commons license