As the world continues to wrestle with anti-Muslim viewpoints (sometimes semi-literally), a noble LaunchGood initiative demonstrates how Muslim-Americans want to help and support San Bernardino as they continue to deal with this month’s tragedy, which left 14 people dead and many more injured.
A fundraising project dubbed Muslims United for San Bernardino has garnered over $150,000 in donations since launching on December 3. The campaign features the aligned forces of MiNDS co-founder Faisal Qazi and Celebrate Mercy co-founder Tarek El-Messidi. The funds will support the victims of the shooting and battle actions of hate with actions of love. The original goal was to raise $50,000, but the money that’s come in has cracked the $150 thousand barrier and the desired end total has been bumped up to $175,000.
The campaign encourages American Muslim mosques, Imams, leaders, and groups to endorse the project, and persons of any faith are welcome to contribute. Here’s the summary that greets anyone arriving on Muslims United for San Bernardino’s LaunchGood page:
The San Bernardino families lost their loved ones in a deplorable act of violence. This is why a collective of American Muslim leaders and groups have united to raise funds for the victims’ families.
We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “Have mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens (God) will have mercy upon you.” And the Quran teaches to “Repel evil by that which is better” (41:34).
Campaign director Tarek El-Messidi spoke with Time about the project’s success. He shared that Muslims Americans for San Bernardino generated over $1,000 per hour since going national. This fund serves as a way to provide support to the community during this period of tension.
“This is exactly what we need. This channels all of our frustration, all of our anxiety, all of our fear into a constructive act of kindness … I felt like this is the perfect storm. With all the anti-Muslim rhetoric in this election year, and with the Paris attacks, and then this California one, Muslims are just being punched left and right. Your every day Muslim feels like a punching bag. We’re tired of being grouped together with extremists and people who commit these monstrous acts.”
The fundraising campaign is scheduled to wrap up on the evening of December 30.