After a suspected gunman with anti-Semitic views killed 11 people and wounded six others at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, two Muslim groups are refusing to let religious hatred win.
Celebrate Mercy and MPower Change have banded together to raise money for their Jewish brothers and sisters at Tree of Life Or L’Simcha Congregation, which was the target of Saturday’s attack. They started a campaign on the Muslim-focused crowdfunding site LaunchGood in the hopes of raising $25,000 for the synagogue victims and their families. They are now past $50,000.
“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” the groups’ fundraising page said.
Once their goal has been hit, the groups say, the funds will be immediately transferred to the local Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, so they can be disbursed to the families to pay for medical and funeral expenses.
“No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way,” the groups said.
The suspect, identified by police as Robert Bowers, reportedly yelled “All Jews must die!” before opening fire Saturday, and his web presence shows a history of extreme anti-Semitic views.
Bowers, who is believed to have wielded an “assault rifle” and at least three handguns when he entered the synagogue, has been charged with 29 counts by federal prosecutors.