A coalition of Muslim-American groups has raised more than $100,000 to benefit the families of victims of last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
The crowdfund campaign was launched by Faisal Qazi, a Pomona, California-based neurologist, and Tarek El-Messidi, founder of the Muslim nonprofit CelebrateMercy, on Dec. 3 — one day after the shooting that left 14 people dead and more than 20 injured. I
t has since earned endorsements from dozens of Muslim organisations and public figures.
“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” Qazi wrote on the campaign website, which is hosted on the Muslim-oriented crowdfunding site Launchgood.
FBI reports from earlier this week describe the two shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, as having been “radicalized” through contact with Islamist extremists. Amidst renewed national debate on gun control and foreign policy, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.
Through the crowdfunding campaign, El-Messidi is aiming to change the negative perception of Muslim-Americans.
“This united American Muslim campaign aims to reclaim our faith from extremists by responding to evil with good, by rebuilding what they destroy,” he said in a press release.
The crowdfund campaign, titled “Muslims United for San Bernardino,” is one of many fundraisers created in the week since the shooting. San Bernardino Mayor R. Corey Davis created a crowdfund campaign on Friday, and several of the victims have had campaigns created in their names.
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