By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This past week included news about the death of the American-born radical Islamic leader of al- Qaeda. But as this week ends, Mike Schuh has more on American Muslims who are trying to distance themselves from their violent counterparts overseas.

It is a joyous time in one West Baltimore kitchen.

“Today is the Day of Dignity and I’m volunteering in the kitchen,” said Maryam Ahamad.

“Pretty much we’re making spaghetti and garlic bread,” said Ruwaydah Amin.

The food is handed out to hundreds in West Baltimore by Muslims to anyone in need. It’s an annual service project.

At eight, Laila Amin is a Day of Dignity veteran.

“I have been here a lot of times. I do Day of Dignity every year because my dad used to work for Islamic Relief, which sponsors Day of Dignity,” Amin said.

Islamic Relief has organized events like this one nationwide. Food, bags of living supplies and health testing are at each location.

But being in a Muslim in this day and age can be hard.

“In some places, they will call you names, terrorist or stuff,” said 15-year-old Abdul Malik Aziz.

With radical Islam being tied to terrorism, the Muslims in Baltimore are taking great pains to distance themselves from those people.

“It’s not a good feeling at all. Some people judge, saying, `Oh, all Muslims are terrorists, evil bad people who burn up buildings and try to kill people,’ and on 9/11 I’m shocked like everyone else,” Ruwaydah Amin said.

“I just show what Islam is and let true Islam speak for itself and what we’re doing today with Day of Dignity, this is what Islam does,” said Imam Hassan Amin, Baltimore’s Day of Dignity organizer.

“I like it that the news crew is here, letting people know that Muslims aren’t bad people like people tend to think,” said volunteer Safiyyaah Tauheed.

Muslims in 18 other cities participated in Saturday’s events.


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