In the wake of the San Bernardino attack, and Donald Trump calling for a ban on Muslim immigration, several Muslim groups are showing their opposition to such violence by helping to raise money for the victims.
A group of Muslim organizations is close to reaching a $100,000 goal since beginning a fundraising campaign last week.
"We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action," the campaign description reads.
According to the LA Daily News, Dr. Faisal Qazi, a Pomona-based neurologist, started the campaign last Wednesday on the site LaunchGood, shortly after hearing about the shootings at Inland Regional Center. As of Tuesday afternoon, the website has brought in over $87,000. An additional $10,000 has also been raised by MiNDS, a non-denominational organization that assists families in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernadino Counties.
The money is earmarked to cover "the immediate and short-term needs of victims and their families, which could include funeral expenses, medical expenses, rent and mortgage payments," the Daily News reports.
Dr. Qazi, a Muslim American, told the paper that many of his patients' families frequent the Inland Regional Center "and he was concerned that children may have been affected."
By Friday last week, MiNDS had reached out to partner organizations and been asked by Muslim leaders to make the effort part of an interfaith campaign.
Imam Mohammed Faqih, religious director of the Islamic Institute of Orange County, was among those who called for an expanded scope.
“This particular incident affected us as Muslims. This is the response that everyone, especially Muslim Americans should (have) in every case, regardless of who the perpetrators are," he told the Daily News.
The campaign's page features more endorsements from Muslim leaders. Tarek El-Messidi, who is the Founding Director of CelebrateMercy, a non-profit set on giving non-Muslims a better understanding of Islam, said:
This united American Muslim campaign aims to reclaim our faith from extremists by responding to evil with good, by rebuilding what they destroy. We know that no amount of money will bring back loved ones of the victims’ families, but we hope that it at least alleviates some financial burdens in the wake of this horrible tragedy.
The fundraising campaign is a small representation of the American Muslim community's response to the attack. The Council on American–Islamic Relations' LA office called a press conference to condemn the attackers; fellow organizations quickly followed. On Tuesday, a survivor and her husband, who attend the same mosque as the attackers, told a local ABC affiliate that they "are concerned American Muslims could face backlash" from anyone connecting their faith to terrorism and wanted to remind the public that the attacks were "anti-Islamic."
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