San Bernardino shooting: US Muslims raise more than $120,000 for victims’ families
In the same week that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump responded to the San Bernadino shooting by calling for a complete ban on Muslims entering the United States, a fundraising campaign created by US Muslims has raised more than $120,000 for the families of the victims - in just four days.
Fourteen people were killed and 21 wounded when married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen walked into a social services centre in San Bernadino, California, and began shooting. The couple are believed to have been radicalised and Isis has claimed couple were its supporters.
The project, “Muslims United for San Bernadino”, has raised $120,374 for the victims’ families in a bid to “respond to evil with good”.
It has been set up by Faisal Qazi, 41, a Muslim neurologist, on the LaunchGood platform, a global Muslim crowdfunding platform. It has been backed by local, regional and national Muslim organisations.
“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” he wrote on the crowdfunding page. “No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way.”
The campaign started with an initial goal of $50,000 to help with the short-term needs of the victims’ families through the MiNDS network, a family-centred development organisation. The organisers had to raise their goal to $140,000 after the campaign took off, and hope the additional money can be used to help families with long-term expenses or to donate to the centre where the shooting took place.
National Muslim leaders have endorsed the campaign, including Dr Muzammil Siddiqi, chair of the Southern California Islamic Shura Council. He said: "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. Victims' Fund is a noble idea. I urge all American Muslims to contribute to this fund."
Speaking to the LA Times, Qazi said: “What you’re seeing is the coming of a new generation of American Muslims being emotionally and physically invested in whatever transpires in society.”