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San Bernardino County mosque to host 'Muslims for Life' blood drive

San Bernardino County mosque to host 'Muslims for Life' blood drive
Members of the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino gather before a prayer service held by the Los Angeles Ahmadiyya Muslim Community at the mosque on Thursday, the day after the San Bernardino attack. The mosque will host a blood drive on Sunday. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

A San Bernardino County mosque will be hosting a blood drive on Sunday in honor of the victims of last week's attack at the Inland Regional Center.

The Los Angeles Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is organizing the event, called Muslims for Life, at the Baitul Hameed Mosque in Chino to "collect blood to honor the victims of the massacre, to emphasize the Islamic teachings of the sanctity of life, and to save lives of fellow Americans," the group said in a statement.

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The blood drive, which is open to the public, will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the mosque at 11941 Ramona Ave. in Chino. The blood will be collected by LifeStream, a private blood center, and distributed to medical facilities in Southern California, according to Minaal Malik, spokeswoman for the L.A. Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

At a prayer vigil at the Baitul Hameed Mosque the day after the attack, leaders denounced the mass shooting that left 14 people dead and prayed for the victims and their loved ones.

Dr. Ahsan Khan, president of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Los Angeles East chapter, encouraged mosques to open their doors to the public and to be involved in their communities. He said prayers and sermons at the Baitul Hameed Mosque are always open to the public.

"Every mosque in America should be open," he said. "It shouldn't be this black box. It shouldn't be this mysterious building where you see your coworkers during the day, they say they're Muslim, and then they go and pray in their mosque and you don't know what they do in there."

Khan said members of the local Ahmadiyya Muslim community "stand united against this attack, and we are committed to denouncing it in no uncertain terms as a complete perversion of the beautiful teachings of Islam."

Twitter: @haileybranson 

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