A series of black churches in the past few weeks have fallen prey to fires – both intentional and accidental. And with the government taking its time to play its part, a group of Muslim youth has taken it upon themselves to help rebuild these places of worship, even though they are from a different religion.
The idea is the brainchild of a theology student Faatimah Knight, 23, who has put together a LaunchGood campaign to raise $75,000 in donation for the aforementioned reconstruction. The fact that the crowdfunding campaign has been launched in the Holy month of Ramadan when the Muslims fast and do Islamic charity, Zakat, has turned it into a massive hit.
Initially, Knight and her friends planned to raise $10,000, but they had to revise their target after they hit it within just 12 hours of its launch. The response from the Muslim community was so overwhelming that LaunchGood says it nearly crashed their website.
An excerpt from her donation appeal reads:
"Its Ramadan and we are experiencing firsthand the beauty and sanctity of our mosques during this holy month. ALL houses of worship are sanctuaries, a place where all should feel safe, a place we can seek refuge when the world is too much to bear. We are calling on you to help add our support to faith communities across the country pooling their resources to rebuild these churches. There has not been anywhere near the amount of resources needed to rebuild these churches. The time is now, let's unite to help our sisters and brothers in faith."
As an African American herself, Knight was deeply aggrieved when black churches were targeted by arsonists across the south following Dylann Roof's deadly attack on Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.
"Supporting these churches hit me most as a black person," Knight said. "It has been a challenging time to be black in America."
She then teamed up with four of her like minded friends and put together this campaign, which has twice hit its target and would likely do so again by the time the campaign expires in eight days' time.