Poppies for all: Young Muslims head to streets for poppy appeal
Young members of a local Muslim community joined forces with representatives of the Royal British Legion (RBL) last weekend as more than £1,700 was raised for charity.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association (AMYA) headed out to the home of Huddersfield Town Football Club as they took part in the annual poppy appeal.
For the fifth year in a row, the 1st November was officially recognised by the RBL as the ‘Ahmadiyya Muslim Poppy Appeal Day’ whereby volunteers from the group collect funds for the worthy cause.
More than 20 youngsters, some aged just four-years-old, got their buckets at the ready for a collection at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday helping to raise a total amount of £1,712.
Kamal Aftab, AMYA Regional Youth Leader for Yorkshire, said the day was extremely rewarding for the young volunteers who helped out on the day.
“One of the fundamental teachings of our religon is that the reward for goodness is goodness alone,” he said.
“The United Kingdom has provided us with so many opportunities for which we are truly grateful.
“As Muslims it is our responsibility to show loyalty to our country of residence and to stand together for a worthy cause.
“We therefore hope that our participation is a clear indication of our desire for peace and unity between all peoples, nations and religions.”
Kamal added that there were a couple of occasions where people questioned his faith’s view on the poppy and he says he was more than happy to help educate the uninformed.
“There was this one gentleman who asked why I was collecting for the RBL when I’m Asian,” he said.
“I explained to him the meaning of the poppy and our belief in showing loyalty to one’s country, which is very important in our faith.”
Deborah Armantrading, from The Royal British Legion, added her praise to the group who have helped to raise tens of thousands of pounds for the poppy appeal since 2010.
“AMYA have been crucial in raising funds for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal for several years participating in mass collections all over the UK, some locations including London, Midlands and Scotland,” she said.
“Not only providing us with a significant number of volunteer collectors who raised an amazing total of £8,500 for the appeal this year.
“The Legion is extremely pleased with the enthusiasm and commitment from all of the volunteers. Also, we enjoy working with AMYA as they are dedicated and passionate about their charity work, and the Poppy Appeal would not be the same without their help.”
Earlier this month over 200 volunteers, belonging to the AMYA, raised funds for the Poppy Appeal at Wembley Stadium whilst their active participation in the Tower of London Poppy installation was also commended by the organisers.