Muslim Youth Group Cleaning up National Parks Affected by the Government Shutdown

AMYA has clocked approximately 200,000 hours in clean-up projects.

The partial government shutdown that started almost three weeks ago in the United States has impacted 9 departments leaving more than 800,000 laborers without pay and several national parks closed. Some national parks remained open but with limited staffing. The national park service has gone ahead and issued cautions that access to these parks might change without warning.

As the government shutdown continues, with the likelihood of it becoming the longest of its kind, volunteer groups across the nation decided to chip in and help clean national parks.

Members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) spent the better part of their weekend collecting trash and cleaning up national parks around the country. In Everglades National Park in Florida, Joshua Tree National Park in California, and The National Mall in Washington, AMYA volunteers tirelessly cleaned up piles of litter, emptied trash bins and swept the grounds.

AMYA group members were also joined by volunteers from surrounding communities who heard about their efforts on social media. Group spokesman Salaam Bhatti disclosed that there was a turnout of at least 70 Muslim and non-Muslim volunteers.

The AMYA president, Dr. Madeel Abdullah, in a press release said that service to the nation and cleanliness are critical aspects of Islam. He went ahead to explain that they cannot take a back seat as national parks collect garbage. He urged and invited Americans to join them as they continue cleaning national parks across the nation.

AMYA members regularly take part in community cleanups in accordance with their faith. Since 2016, the AMYA has clocked approximately 200,000 hours in clean-up projects.

This association is the largest of its kind in the United States. It has over 70 chapters and 5,000 male members aged between 7 and 40 years.

Salaam Bhatti also outlined that by participating in community development efforts increases dialogue between all religious groups thus alleviating stigma. It is also a gesture to show that Muslims are not only here to talk about Islam but also to be part of the United States of America.

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