SHAFAQNA- A Muslim-led effort has begun a fundraiser over $200,000 to help the victims and their families of Saturday’s synagogue shooting at the Pittsburgh where 11 people killed .
CelebrateMercy and MPower Change started the fundraiser on the site Launch Good to help support the short-term needs of victims and their families by raising money for medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses after a gunman stormed services at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, killing 11 and wounding 6 before being captured by police.
Two Muslim-led nonprofits organized the fundraising drive in partnership with the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh and the Tree of Life Synagogue, which has raised a total of $207,230 since Saturday afternoon.
The campaign surpassed its original goal of $25,000 in just six hours, and after just two days the fundraiser topped another milestone of $150,000.
“Right now, because in Jewish tradition funerals happen right away, the priority is to help with funeral expenses,” Tarek El-Messidi, the founder of Celebrate Mercy, said Monday, according to the outlet, Fox News reported.
A portion of the proceeds will also help the six wounded in the shooting, including four police officers, according to the fundraising site.
Tarek El-Messidi, the founding director of CelebrateMercy, says the effort is part of his group’s larger belief in responding to hatred with acts of goodness.
This latest fundraiser is only the latest of CelebrateMercy’s outreach efforts, which they say are inspired by the teachings and life of the Prophet Mohammed (P).
“We recognize that the money can’t bring back loved ones that [families] have lost so tragically, nor can it physically heal any of the wounds,” El-Messidi told TIME. “But we do hope the money can in some way lift their spirits, lift the burdens of funeral expenses and medical costs.”
“The Pittsburgh Muslim Community extends our deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims, their families, and all of our Jewish brothers and sisters,” the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh said in a statement. “We condemn this hate crime unequivocally, and denounce all forms of hatred and bigotry. The Pittsburgh community is our family; what happens to one of us, is felt by us all.”
President Donald Trump traveled to Squirrel Hill, the historic hub of the city’s Jewish community and the location of Tree of Life synagogue.
Some critics have accused Trump of fomenting racial and ethnic hostility and have said he deserves some of the blame for the bloodshed.