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Group hopes to bust Muslim stereotypes and help the homeless

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A non-profit group Salt Lake City say they want to change a stereotype that all Muslims are violent.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A non-profit group Salt Lake City say they want to change a stereotype that all Muslims are violent.

A couple of University of Utah graduate students have started United in Service for Humanity. The group does charity work hoping to show a positive side of Islam.

“I choose to use my beliefs in a positive way,” said Sarah Ahmad, co-founder of United in Service for Humanity. “I choose to serve others as a way to practice my religion.”

On Saturday, United in Service for Humanity held a fundraiser for people to learn about Islam and raise money for Utah’s homeless.

“We're trying to exemplify one of the characteristics of our religion which is charity,” said Ahmad. “By doing that we're helping others and also defeating the stereotypes about our religion that are incorrect.”

Taiyaba Khan, who attended the fundraiser event, agrees. “In Islam you are supposed to help people in your community, it doesn't matter if they are Muslims or non-Muslims,” she said.

While raising money for the homeless, booths here also teach about Muslim fashion, food and provide an opportunity to meet people who may practice a different religion.

“A lot of people have never interacted with a Muslim and they are able to interact with them face to face,” said Ahmad. “Once you put a human face on something you don't understand that automatically breaks a barrier.”

Akbar Khan, who hosted a booth for his Bags to Riches charity, was happy to be apart of the cause. “It's a great way to show that Muslims are being engaged and they are helping their local community, they are helping their environment,” he said.

The money raised at this weekend's event will help feed dinner to about 600 people in need here in Utah.
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