Pomona-based neurologist Faisal Qazi launched the fundraising effort the day after learning that a tragedy in his community had left 14 dead and 21 wounded. He told the Times that he didn't know at the time that the shooters, married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were Muslims like himself. With the encouragement of Islamic leaders and prominent community members, Qazi broadened his effort to create Muslims United for San Bernardino, a diverse coalition raising money to cover the funeral expenses and other short-term needs of the survivors and families of the victims of the shooting.
The Times noted that this is the “most successful crowd-funding venture Muslim Americans have ever launched for the broader community.”
According to the campaign’s LaunchGood page, over 1,000 donors have contributed and the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muslim Family Foundation and MiNDS charitable network have endorsed the fundraising effort. The campaign, which runs through Dec. 30, had already raised more than $117,283 of its $140,000 goal as of Dec. 9.
“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” the fundraiser's mission statement reads. “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).”