American Muslim raise over $100,000 for California shooting victims

American Muslims groups nationwide have joined forces to raise funds for the families of the victims in the San Bernardino attack. Their efforts have raised $100,000 as of Tuesday.

The project, “Muslims United for San Bernadino”, has raised more than $113,000 as of Wednesday. The money raised through the crowdfunding site LaunchGood will go towards various expenses such as funeral costs, medical bills, and rent/mortgage payments for households directly affected by the attack at the Inland Regional Medical center.

Another $10,000 or so has been raised through the MiNDS website and from offline checks, Qazi said.

Qazi, an American-Muslim who lives in Fullerton, set up a small fund on behalf of MiNDS — a non-religious entity which caters to the economic, medical and educational needs of under-served families in the Inland Empire, Pomona and north Orange County — on Wednesday after hearing about the mass shooting.

“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action.”

“The American Muslim community has had extensive and intense conversations in the last decade about our role in society,” said Qazi, 41. “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 donations are set to go out to the families in phases. The first of which will be as soon as possible to cover expenses in the wake of the tragedy.

American Muslim raise over $100,000 for California shooting victims

“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 loved ones of the victims’ families, but we hope that it at least alleviates some financial burdens in the wake of this horrible tragedy,” he said in statement.

The biggest boost came when the campaign was endorsed by the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, which represents 78 mosques and Muslim organizations. Shakeel Syed, the council’s executive director, said donors hope to raise $250,000 in what will dwarf previous fundraising efforts, including $10,000 for the Orange County Fire Department nearly a decade ago after wildfires in the Carlsbad area.

Several leading Islamic scholars also pitched the campaign in their Friday sermons last week.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International