Each night, the men in the white coats donning taqiyah (or white skullcaps), deliver takeout food to the homeless and struggling people of Sydney. Although the White Coats Muslim charity has been ongoing for the past two years, their humble efforts have not been without criticism, especially as of late, following horrific terrorist attacks and hostage situations in Paris, Beirut, and Mali.
“Once you meet someone, and you get to know them, and can help them, you feel a responsibility to come back,” Kamal, the co-founder of the charity told the Australian news website, News.com.au. “People see us as extremists because of the way we look but they don’t realize we are the ones who practice true Islam.”[slideshow: 1645700]
Kamal and his friend and co-founder Bilal, both Australian-born men who reside in the Sydney area, operate their charity out of the Masjid Al Noor Mosque in Granville, which has been previously linked to jihadist activity, as two terrorists Yusuf Ali and Amira Karroum had formerly attended prayer there.
In the back of the mosque, the men keep hygiene packs that they give to the homeless, single mothers, victims of domestic abuse, and orphans. They also drive around Liverpool, Greenacre, and Granville delivering food from participating Thai and Lebanese restaurants.
Kamal and Bilal say that the White Coats have been particularly popular with Muslim youth who have a purpose and can stay out of trouble that way.
“We are a small community here in Australia and we just wanna help,” Kamal said. “That’s our religion: to help, to serve, to bring justice and peace to the world.”