Muslim American community raises nearly $200K for families of San Bernardino victims

A collective of Muslim-American leaders have raised more than $194,000 for the families of those killed in the San Bernardino terrorist attack.

The initiative, called Muslims United for San Bernardino, was launched by Faisal Qazi, president of family-centered organization MiNDS Network and Tarek El-Messidi, founder of Islamic nonprofit CelebrateMercy.

"We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action," the founders said in a press release. "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)."

The group initially hoped to raise $50,000, but exceeded that goal within 48 hours. As of Friday evening, $194,273 had been raised.

The money will be disbursed through San Bernardino County and the United Way to help families with funeral expenses and other expenses.

"All fundraising proceeds will help with the immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families," the fundraising page reads. "No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way."

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