Two Muslim organizations have raised more than $130,000 to help victims and their families following the shooting massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.
The online fund-raiser was part of a broad outpouring of assistance in response to the anti-Semitic attack, which killed 11 people and left six others injured, including blood drives, vigils and a separate crowdfunding campaign that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Tarek El-Messidi, a Chicago-based activist, said he learned of the synagogue shooting in a call Saturday morning from a friend who runs the Muslim fund-raising website LaunchGood. His friend asked Mr. El-Messidi if he could do something to help the victims, and he agreed.
Within two hours, he had created an online campaign with the backing of two Muslim groups, CelebrateMercy, where he is the founding director, and MPower Change. He set an initial goal of $25,000, which was promptly shattered as donations flooded in.
Mr. El-Messidi said he was able to jump-start the campaign and bring in donations so quickly because he has unfortunately done this before. He created a LaunchGood fund-raiser last year that collected $136,000 to repair hundreds of Jewish headstones vandalized in St. Louis and Philadelphia.
“Putting our religious differences or even your political differences aside, the core of all of us is that we have a shared humanity,” Mr. El-Messidi said in an interview. “We really wanted to reach out as human beings to help.” [Continue reading…]