Justice

This Muslim Doctor Just Went the Extra Mile for San Bernardino Shooting Victims

December 9th 2015

By:
Taylor Bell

While politicians like GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump continue to fuel Islamophobia, a group of Muslim organizations in California just raised $100,000 for the families of the victims killed in the mass shooting in San Bernardino that left 14 people dead.

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The effort was started by American Muslim and neurologist Faisal Qazi and launched the day after the shooting on the Muslim crowdfunding website LaunchGood, according to the Los Angeles Times. With the help of donations across the country and from prominent Muslim organizations and leaders, the campaign "Muslims United for San Bernardino" raised more than $100,000 in just four days, the Independent reports.

Crowdfunding for San Bernardino shooting

"We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action," a statement on the campaign website said. "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)."

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Originally Qazi planned to donate $20,000 through his own health nonprofit but decided to expand his effort after authorities identified the shooters as radicalized Muslims. According to The Times, all donations will be administered through San Bernardino County and United Way and will immediately go to the short-term needs of victims' families.

The campaign has been endorsed by various Muslim leaders, including Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, the chair of the Southern California Islamic Shura Council, which represents mosques in San Bernadino, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura and the city of Orange.

"We are sad at the suffering of our neighbors in San Bernardino." Siddiqi said in a statement on the campaign's website. "We are with them not only with the words of sympathy and condolences; we should show the acts of kindness and compassion. Victims' Fund is a noble idea. I urge all American Muslims to contribute to this fund."

Following the attacks in Paris in November and the San Bernardino massacre several days ago, Muslims have felt a need to publicly voice concern over growing Islamophobia. For instance, on Monday hundreds of Shiite Muslims held an anti-terrorism rally to hopefully dispel the stigma that has become associated with their religion. This more participatory role in society is becoming the new trend for many Muslims, Qazi explained to The Times.

“The American Muslim community has had extensive and intense conversations in the last decade about our role in society,” Qazi said. “What you’re seeing is the coming of a new generation of American Muslims being emotionally and physically invested in whatever transpires in society.”

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