Eleven years later, the UMMA clinic on Florence Avenue has served nearly 20,000 patients, the great majority of them non-Muslim. It has become a mainstay of its largely low-income neighborhood, sponsoring blood drives, literacy promotions and even tax return workshops, along with its medical services.
And in an era when Middle Eastern conflicts and terrorist attacks have often brought uncomfortable attention to America's Muslim communities, the clinic has become a source of considerable pride for Muslims in Southern California and nationwide.
"We believe this is really Islam at its best," said Shakeel Syed, executive director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, an umbrella group for the region's mosques. "We are very proud of those who started UMMA and those who are continuing the work there."
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