Muslims launch campaign in solidarity of Westminster attack victims.Muslims in London are coming together in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack outside the UK parliament on Wednesday, March 22. The Launchgood campaign was started on Wednesday night by Muddassar Ahmed to raise money to support families of victims of the Westminster terror attack. Mr. Ahmed was one of the attack witnesses. He was inside the Parliament building attending a meeting when the attack happened.
“We looked out the window and below was a scene of carnage,” recounted Mr. Muddassar. He further added “It was so shocking and completely out of the blue. It is something you hear about, but never expect to experience.” He and others in attendance at the meeting were locked in an office for close to five hours as law enforcement agents controlled the situation.
Later that night, Ahmed rung friends and fellow Muslim Londoners to figure out a way how they were going to stand with the victims. “We felt it was important – especially when people are trying to divide us – that people can see our unity and that we are working for the betterment of London,” remarked Ahmed. Muddassar Together with fellow organizers, Akeela Ahmed, Hassan Hoque, Mohammed Marikar, two British Members of Parliament who are Muslims, Naz Shah and Yasmin Qureshi launched “Muslims Unite for London.”
The online page saw donations soar to £3,000 ($3,767) within the first hour after launching. The page surpassed the £10,000 ($12,559) limit in the first 15 hours. On Thursday afternoon the fund had raised close to £15,000 ($18,838). The funds would all go to the victims and the victims’ families most affected by the events. “No amount of money will bring back the lost lives or take away the pain the victims and their families are going through, we hope to lessen the burden in some way,” read a statement from the organizers. Although the initiative was spearheaded by Muslims, people of all faiths across the divide were encouraged to make donations.
Muslim women joined hands on Westminster Bridge in solidarity with victims of the London terror attack. Very powerful. pic.twitter.com/3APaCsEoD0
— Mustapha Itani (@_mustaphaitani) March 27, 2017
Following the events, the chief executive of the Ramadhan Foundation, Mohammed Shafiq, called for tightened security outside Mosques. In a statement, the cleric remarked, “The terrorists aim to divide communities, the far right are doing the work of these terrorist groups by perpetuating division and hatred but as British citizens, we will continue to work to bring people together by preaching peace and defeat the ideology of violence.”
If you're looking to donate for a good cause, I can personally tell you this one will bring tremendous value. https://t.co/xlvI30B1zi
— Farah Hamed (@FaRFeZ_91) March 24, 2017
Some are of the opinion the attacks will fuel the rising Islamophobia across Europe, but Ahmed is positive about the backlash towards the Muslim community in London. He is worried about backlash towards the Muslim community in other parts of the country. “Many people are going to try to use this to divide the community further and say that Muslims are hellbent on destroying society,” commented Ahmed.
The victims were Kurt Cochran, 54, of Bountiful, Utah, teacher Aysha Frade, 43, and Police Constable Keith Palmer, 48 and an unnamed fourth victim. The British-born Khalid Masood, the assailant, was shot dead by police as he tried to enter Parliament buildings.