Washington, D.C. -- Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus, released the following statement today in honor of the annual Muslims for Life blood drive. The event is held each year to recognize the loss of more than 3,000 lives in the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"I want to thank the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community for hosting this blood drive for the eighth year in a row, and apologize that I was unable to be with you today. Every year, this event demonstrates your compassion and the fortitude of your convictions by turning an anniversary of profound loss and devastating violence into a clarion call for love and life.

Throughout the years, the Muslims for Life Blood Drive has collected enough pints of blood to save over 100,000 lives – a compelling reminder of the power of the message ‘Love for All, Hatred for None.’ That’s the legacy that you, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, continue to carry forward. Your response to persecution and vilification has been one of understanding, pluralism, equity, and service. And your ability to do this in the face of such blatant hatred serves as an inspiration to all of us, as does your ongoing commitment to the annual Muslims for Life Blood Drive.

That is why I am so very proud to serve as co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Ahmadiyya Muslim Caucus, which is committed to fighting for all persecuted religious minorities. Your own experience, and so many other historical horrors, illustrate the necessity of coming together in the fight against international religious intolerance. I stand with you in that noble fight, and I know that our partnership will continue to be a powerful force for peace in Washington D.C. and around the country.

Thank you for your values, your perseverance, and your willingness to give not just your blood, but love, for others. Because it is only through such love that we can and will overcome hate."