'Repel Evil': Muslims Raise $122K for Shooting Victims
In just 5 days, donations for victims' families have poured in
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2015 11:00 AM CST
Dounia Omar, center, prays during a memorial service at the Islamic Community Center of Redlands, Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015, in Loma Linda, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – An alliance of Muslim groups has raised $122,000 for the families of victims of the San Bernardino shooting in just five days, and donations are still pouring in. Muslims United for San Bernardino, led by southern California's MiNDS Network, originally planned to raise $50,000 to cover short-term expenses like funeral costs, but managed that feat in just 48 hours, reports WATE. So the group kept on trucking with a new goal of reaching $100,000. They met that target on Wednesday and upped their goal to $140,000. More than 1,000 people have donated with 21 days remaining in the campaign."The Koran teaches to 'repel evil by that which is better,'" the group's LaunchGood page says. "I think it sends a clear message that American Muslims are here to build and not destroy," adds Tarek El-Messidi, who helped create the fund, per the Huffington Post.

Leading Islamic scholars and prominent groups like the Islamic Shura Council have also added their names to the fund, reports the Los Angeles Times. "This is an actual, tangible action we can do to show non-Muslims that we have your back," a 20-year-old backer says. "We do not want to be associated at all with extremists who are putting people in harm's way, and we want to show this as just one example of how American Muslims are contributors to society, trying to make our society a better place," El-Messidi adds. He says "the first batch of donations" will go out to families within a week. "We know no amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but hopefully this will make things a little easier for them." With so much money raised, the group says some funds may also go to the Inland Regional Center, where 14 people were killed last week.