My Lords, there are more than 3 million Muslims in the United Kingdom. Last year, Muslims donated more than £130 million to humanitarian and charitable purposes. Donors included a number of businesses. This year, the figure will be higher as the community wants to help during the Covid pandemic. Per capita, the Muslim community gives more than any other community to help others. When Covid-19 hit the country, individuals, businessmen, charities, mosques, centres and organisations recognised the need to provide immediate and effective help. Muslim businesses include caterers, takeaways, pharmacists, shopkeepers, taxi owners and other small businesses. The business community plays an active role. Muslim charities set up a campaign for national solidarity and provided financial help to individuals and families in difficulties.
I thank the noble Lord, Lord Desai, for mentioning charities. Muslims have established food banks providing meals, provisions and other essentials to elderly and vulnerable people as well as to refugees and the homeless. In addition, meals are supplied to hospitals and NHS staff. Furthermore, prescriptions are delivered to people at home. Victims of domestic abuse have been given support. The community has also provided financial help to families to bury their deceased. It is in our DNA to help other communities irrespective of their race or religion, and we have played a role to support the needy in the country during these difficult times.?
Muslim doctors have been offering training to medical students joining the front line. Finally, it was a Muslim doctor, Ibn Sina, known as Avicenna, who taught the world the use of quarantine to control disease. His legacy is protecting us from coronavirus.