This post is written by Muslimah Rodriguez, she and her family are one of many victims of Hurricane Sandy. Her home and her community in Coney Island have been gravely affected by this tragic event. She is a Puerto Rican Muslim by birth. Her parents (both Puerto Rican) converted to Islam over 20 years ago. She lives in the Coney Island area. Muslimah is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Childhood Education.
Hurricane Sandy hit Coney Island with a disastrous repercussion leaving the Coney Island residents without electricity, heat, light, warm water, or food. All the while with little to no news coverage on Coney Islands’ devastating circumstances has led to an upscale looting of banks, private businesses, supermarkets, and residential houses. There have been an unaccounted number of deaths and hoodlums running freely with guns, engaging in shoot-outs and robberies. With the lack of aid during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, residents are left feeling hopeless, afraid, and shattered.
My experience returning to Coney Island after four days was too overwhelming for me to bear. The post-Sandy destruction that I witnessed was nothing compared to what the news broadcast could prepare me for. Riding on the bus we saw sand covering the streets, cars turned upside down, and trees uprooted. Stores, pharmacies, banks, and clinics were destroyed with their windows busted in. Parts of houses demolished while people emptied out water from their basements. It was basically a tremendous loss and no one there to aid made it even more difficult to bear. I felt like I was in another country, it did not feel like the United States. I felt that we were being ignored and neglected. Why?
I had finally gotten to my house but before the bus could turn, I did not want to know what awaited me. My door was bent from the pressure of the water that had jammed the lock and we were unable to open it. A neighbor of mine informed us, that four families had already been robbed. The community of the townhouses on Bayview Avenue had united together to take turns at night to watch over the properties. Many feel that the police are not doing their job in handling the situation. They are absent around residential areas so we are forced to protect ourselves because the police are “…standing guard at Rite Aid.”
My family and I needed help opening the back yard door. Through the window we had seen our furniture turned upside down, sand and soil scattered across the floor. Later, I spoke to one of my neighbors who told me his family was in their home when the water came rushing in and flooded the entire first floor of their townhouse forcing them to flee to the second floor. Hearing all their stories broke my heart and I realized the word had to get out. I hope we can all come together to help one another, even by spreading the word through text, email, twitter, Facebook, or contacting News Stations, relief organizations and people that can help get supplies and warm food to the people any assistance will be greatly appreciated.
As RasoolAllah (SAW) said, whoever aids their Muslim brother (or sister) in their time of need, Allah (SWT) will aid them in their time of need (i.e. the Day of Judgment). Please spread the word and help the millions in need.