Muslim groups in the United States are collecting money to support families of victims of last week's San Bernardino terrorist attack.
“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” the organizers of the fundraiser say on the campaign web page. “No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way.”
Fourteen people were killed and 21 wounded when married couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik walked into a social services centre in San Bernadino, Calif., and opened fire on an office holiday party. Investigators say, the couple had been radicalized “for some time” and Malik had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
"We are sad at the suffering of our neighbors in San Bernardino. We are with them not only with the words of sympathy and condolences; we should show the acts of kindness and compassion,” says Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chairperson of the Southern California Islamic Shura Council.
The project to raise money for the relatives of the California shooting rampage is dubbed “Muslims United for San Bernardino” and was launched by Faisal Qazi, a California-based neurologist, and Tarek El-Messidi. It has been backed by local, regional, and national Muslim organizations.
The campaign is being crowdfunded on a website called LaunchGood, a global Muslim crowdfunding platform.
Since the campaign began on Dec. 3, the effort has raised over $120,000, as of this writing, from over 1,000 supporters. The campaign has 21 days to go.
The campaign set an initial goal of raising $50,000 to assist with the immediate needs of the victims’ families, it reached that goal within 48 hours. The organizers say on the campaign page that the additional funds will be routed to help grieving families with long-term expenses or to donate to the center where the shooting took place.
Speaking to The Los Angeles Times, Qazi said, “The American Muslim community has had extensive and intense conversations in the last decade about our role in society. What you’re seeing is the coming of a new generation of American Muslims being emotionally and physically invested in whatever transpires in society.”
The fundraising campaign echoes a July crowdfunding campaign, in which Muslims raised money to help rebuild eight predominantly black churches that were burned down in a spate of arson in the South following the mass shooting mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.