Muslims Raise $200,000 for Families of San Bernardino Victims

Via video screenshot
Via video screenshot
American Muslims started a fund to help San Bernardino attack victims.

Muslims leaders and groups across the United States have raised over $191,000 for the families of the victims killed at the Inland Regional Center, a social services center located in San Bernardino, California. Mortality rate of the incident was 14 individuals, along with 17 injured.

Muslims Raise $200,000 for Families of San Bernardino Victims[/tweetthis]

Funds were raised by MiNDS, a family centric development organization, and by Tarek El-Messidi, who is the co-founder of CelebrateMercy, an Islamic nonprofit. The two joined forces and began LaunchGood, the donation fund with the aim of fighting hate with love. The aim was to gather money for families of those 14 killed when they were shot by assailants Tashfeen Malik and Syed Rizwan Farook.  According to Federal Bureau of Investigation investigators, the two were radicalized by Islamic State.

Faisal Qazi, a neurologist based in Pomona, initially had no inkling that the shooters were Muslims. He only knew that the victims were his neighbors in the Inland Empire area. He began small, with the intention of collecting $20,000 via MiNDS. However, Islamic leaders and scholars urged him to widen his scope-after it came out that the assailants belonged to the Muslim religion. The campaign rapidly gained steam, and raised the maximum number of funds Muslim Americans have launched for the wider community. The campaign, named Muslims United for San Bernardino, collected $100,000 from approximately 1,000 donors spread across the nation, including Tennessee. Florida, Michigan and Ohio. The money collected will be distributed via United Way and San Bernardino County to help the families of victims with varied needs like funeral expenses.

Local conservative politicians, in sharp contrast to Donald Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric from the time of San Bernardino shootings, have supported this donation drive. The social media is a cauldron, with many praising the drive, and a few making nasty comments about the effort. It was very hurtful for Muslims to read the comments section.

Qazi is of the opinion that for a Muslim, America is now a much more hostile place. The atmosphere is vitiated and people following the Islamic faith constantly have to defend their beliefs. Muslims are shocked by the constant scrutiny and it is getting much harder for them to stay disassociated from negative assertions. He said that only his work for others helps him to continue. He describes his work as empowering and admits that, like a majority of Americans, his faith keeps him going. He terms the Islamic faith as his biggest inspiration.


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