Thursday, 15 Nov 2018

"React to evil with good": Muslim community raises funds for victims of shooting in synagogue

People stand in front of the museum and the Pittsburgh Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Building, which has been filled, and listen through a tribune to a community rally inside October 28, following the deadly shooting that took place in the Tree of Life synagogue a day earlier. (Matt Rourke / AP) A The crowdfunding campaign organized by the American Muslim community has raised more than $ 77,000 for victims of mass shootings in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The shooting, which claimed the lives of 11 people on Saturday during a morning ceremony, "made my stomach ache," said Tarek El-Messidi, a Muslim American speaker and activist who launched fundraising as soon as he heard about the attack. . In the first six hours, the effort, titled Muslims Unite for Pittsburgh Synagogue, met its initial target of $ 25,000. "When I saw the news, I thought," It could very well have happened in a mosque or a Hindu temple, "he said." We live in a time when so much sectarian rhetoric is amplified. "On the fundraising page, he wrote," We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith says, and send a powerful message of compassion through action. He also quotes the Quran saying, "Repel evil with what is better." Fundraising, which sometimes brought in about $ 2,000 per hour on Sunday, was meant to compensate for the immediate short-term needs of bereaved victims. will also be used to cover funeral expenses and medical expenses.) El-Messidi is partnering with the Pittsburgh Islamic Center to pay this money. "No money will bring back their loved ones, but we hope to lighten up their burden one way or another, "wrote El-Messidi, El-Messidi, who launched the effort at the Muslim crowdfunding site LaunchGood, said that about 70% of those contributing to the campaign carry Muslim-sounding names and that the Rest is made up of people from other backgrounds who wish to help the victims. . "It's an interfaith effort," said El-Messidi, a national Muslim leader in Knoxville, Tennessee. Fundraising reaffirms his conviction that an attack on people of one religion is an attack on people of all religions. "In religion, we all worship a higher power, especially with our Jewish cousins," El-Messidi said. "We share many theological points of view with the Jewish community, and the basic teaching is that you never harm religious spaces – be it a mosque, a temple, or a church. One should never worry about being hurt or killed in a place of worship. He said that in this time of great anxiety, when the country seemed more divided than ever, he continued to believe that reacting to evil with good was effective. "People have a lot more good than bad," he said. "People are generally in a good mood and peaceful. El-Messidi, who is also the founder of Celebrate Mercy, an organization that promotes the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, has a tradition of bringing people together to help them. in need. After desecrating a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis last year, after more than 150 damaged headstones, he and another American Muslim activist started a fundraiser to help pay for the repairs. It ultimately raised more than $ 160,000. [‘Every person deserves to rest in peace’: American Muslims raising money to repair vandalized Jewish cemetery] He also helped start a Muslim-led fundraiser for victims of the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, in 2015, which raised more than $ 215,000. In 2012, after the attacks on US diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the assassination of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, El-Messidi called on Muslims to write news reports. letters of condolence to the Stevens family and presented 8,000 to Stevens' sister Than Thanksgiving. He said that he was grateful that people make donations to the victims of Tree of Life, as he wanted to help survivors and their family members feel less burdened and focus on healing and bereavement. . He was particularly struck by the fact that so many of the faithful who were killed were elderly. "It is even more heartbreaking to know that this has happened to the most vulnerable members of the community," he said. "It made me think of my own grandparents and what it would have been for them. It's disgusting ".

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