Muslim Groups Raise Funds for Families of San Bernardino Victims
San Bernardino, CA: As the United States grapples with the recent tragedy in San Bernardino, Muslim-Americans combat hate with charity and love.
In the wake of the tragedy in San Bernardino, American Muslims have come together to give back in an inspiring way. Housed on the crowdsourcing platform LaunchGood , Muslim individuals raised over $86,000 in only four days for families of the 14 dead and 21 wounded San Bernardino victims. Muslims United for San Bernardino set an initial goal of raising $50,000 to assist with the immediate needs of the victims’ families. It reached its initial goal within 48 hours and has been funded by nearly 800 individual donors.
The initiative - launched by Faisal Qazi, president of the MiNDS Network, and Tarek El-Messidi, Founder of CelebrateMercy - has since upscaled its goal to raising $100,000. For reference, a GoFundMe page launched by San Bernardino mayor Carey Davis has raised $39,540 at the time of this writing.
In the words of the organizers, “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 Qur'an teaches to "Repel evil by that which is better" (41:34).”
The campaign has been endorsed by multiple American Muslim organizations including:
- Local Organizations: The MiNDS Network, UPLIFT, MECASoCal, Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, CAIR-LA, MAS-LA, Institute of Knowledge (IOK)
- Regional Organizations: Tarbiya Institute, CAIR Florida, CAIR Arizona
- National Organizations: CelebrateMercy, Islamic Networks Group, Islamic Society of North America, Mental Health for Muslims, Zaytuna College
The fundraising campaign is similar to a July 2015 crowdsourced campaign , in which Muslims raised over $100,000 to help rebuild black churches in the South following the shooting of nine people at a church in Charleston and a spate of arsons. According to the LaunchGood founders, this crowdsourced campaign is raising money at an even higher rate.
“The Prophet Muhammad said that even a person of little faith will remove a harmful object from the road. Contrast that with extremists like ISIS who are blowing up roads and killing civilians,” says Tarek El-Messidi. “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 the loved ones of the victims’ families, but we hope that it at least alleviates some financial burdens in the wake of this tragedy.”
LaunchGood is committed to highlighting the incredible values of the global Muslim community with every project. For more information on this project, please visit www.launchgood.com/SB .