After the horrific shooting in San Bernardino, Faisal Qazi, a Muslim man living in Southern California, decided he wanted to support the families of the 14 victims. Although his initial goal was to raise $20,000, he was encouraged to expand his idea -- and the results have been phenomenal.
In just 6 days, Qazi's LaunchGood project, Muslims United for San Bernardino, has raised almost $120,000.
"At least 14 people were killed and 17 more wounded in San Bernardino, California where up to 3 attackers went on a shooting spree at a regional center that serves those with special needs," the group's LaunchGood said. "The San Bernardino families lost their loved ones in a deplorable act of violence. This is why a collective of American Muslim leaders and groups have united to raise funds for the victims' families."
Muslim leaders and advocacy groups have endorsed the project, including CelebrateMercy, Islamic Networks Group, Islamic Society of North America and Mental Health for Muslims.
Qazi said his faith inspired him to launch the project. The LA Times reports that "Qazi had no idea the shooters who massacred 14 people in San Bernardino last week were Muslims, like himself. The Pomona-based neurologist only knew that the victims and their families were his Inland Empire neighbors and his faith obligated him to help."
Faith and compassion are at the core of the Muslims United for San Bernardino's mission. "We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us and send a powerful message of compassion through action," the group's LaunchGood said. "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.'"
The group hopes to raise $140,000 by December 30. According to the LA Times, "The money will be disbursed through San Bernardino County and the United Way to assist victims’ families with funeral expenses and other needs."
MTV News has reached out to Faisal Qazi for comment.