Following the Westminster Bridge attacks that left three victims dead and many more injured, an outpouring of support came from all over the world. And one British Muslim group rapidly raised money for the victims, proving to Islamophobic people that Islam is by no means a hateful religion. Though people should already realize this, such kind acts are a reminder that bigotry cannot be tolerated.
Titled "Muslims United for London," the crowdfunding campaign spearheaded by London activist Akeela Ahmed raised over 3,000 British pounds in its first hour, and surpassed 10,000 within 15 hours of its inception. The response was so great that the group increased their fundraising goal to keep up with the donations.
The Muslims United fundraiser coincides with statements from members of the British Muslim community that condemn the Westminster attacks in light of the Islamic State's claim that one of their "soldiers" orchestrated the attacks. Tulip Saddiq, a Muslim member of Parliament, said she believes "the person who did this is not a true Muslim," and the Birmingham Central Mosque deplored the terrorist attack in a statement, adding that these acts "are the work of evil and not the work of God-fearing people."
Lots of talk about what Islam is. This is Islam, right here -> https://t.co/gOAFpqyj0i— Liam Young (@liamyoung) March 23, 2017
In February, more Muslim-led fundraising crushed Islamophobes' bigotry when Women's March organizer Linda Sarsour co-led a crowdfunding campaign to help repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery during a spate of anti-Semitic threats and vandalism. The campaign raised more than $100,000 in its first day alone, and came as an extension of Muslim-Jewish solidarity following Jewish community members' call for interfaith support after the numerous threats.
Despite the very bad light groups like the Islamic State cast over the religion of Islam, charity (or zakat) is one of the five pillars of Islam, and the recent crowdfunding efforts for victims of terrorism and hatred adheres to this important aspect of the religion.
With this attack and so many others before it, Muslims continue to work to prove that Islam cannot and should not be defined by the actions of arguably sacrilegious extremists. With campaigns like the Muslims United for London fundraiser, British Muslims join their American counterparts in denying the Islamophobic notion that terrorists like ISIS represent Islam, and aim to prove to the world that Muslims are capable of so much good in spite of the actions of radicalized extremists like those who carry out these kinds of attacks. Hopefully, people don't have to be convinced of such truths in the future.