The massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the worst hate crime against Jews in US history, has also produced moments of hope in the past two days, as US media reported that Muslim organizations have launched a mass-funding campaign to raise money for the victims and their families.
The non-profit organizations CelebrateMercy and MPower Change, initiated the campaign under the title "Muslims Unite For Pittsburgh Synagogue" in cooperation with the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP).
The purpose of the crowdfunding campaign is to help finance funeral expenses and medical treatment. The initial goal was to raise $25,000, but as a result of the success, a new target was set at $75,000 which was later raised to $125,000. Overall, $111,000 dollars have been raised so far.
“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” the campaign reads. “Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: ‘Show mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will show mercy to you.’ The Quran also teaches us to ‘Repel evil by that which is better’ (41:34),” the organizations tweeted.
According to the campaign's website, one of the goals of the campaign is to "extends the hand of the Muslim-American community to the victims of the massacre, whether they are the injured victims or the Jewish families who have lost loved ones. "
US President Donald Trump on Saturday said the outcome might have been different if the synagogue "had some kind of protection" from an armed guard, while Pennsylvania's Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, up for re-election, noted that once again "dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harm's way."
Calling the shooting an "evil anti-Semitic attack," Trump ordered flags at federal buildings throughout the US to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims. Trump added that he was planning on travelling to Pittsburgh, but offered no details.
US Vice President Mike Pence strongly rejected Sunday the suggestion that there is a link between the kind of political rhetoric used by Trump and the latest violent attacks in the United States, including the explosive packages sent to senior members of the Democratic camp as well as the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.
“Everyone has their own style, and frankly, people on both sides of the aisle use strong language about our political differences. But I just don’t think you can connect it to acts or threats of violence,” Pence said in an interview with NBC News.