The horrific train attack in Portland, Oregon, involving Jeremy Joseph Christian, ignited a wave of support for the victims that perhaps will surprise all bigots trying hard not to call this a terrorist attack.
According to The Independent, Islamic groups have come together to raise thousands of dollars for the families of the two men murdered by Christian.
Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche became involved in the altercation when they stepped in to defend two Muslim women from Christian, prompting the enraged 35-year-old to target and then stab them. Micah Fletcher, the third man involved in the incident, was also targeted by Christian and suffered major injuries.
Promptly after the deadly attack, the Muslim Education Trust and CelebrateMercy launched Muslims Unite for Portland Heroes, a crowdfunding campaign aimed at helping the victims' families.
With an initial target set at $60,000, the group raised the money necessary to cover the costs of Best's and Mankai-Meche's funerals in just five hours. Now, with over $540,000 raised, organizers want to use the rest of the funds for long-term expenses, which include helping Best's four children go through college.
If the two groups have enough funds available, they also plan on establishing an “endowed program or scholarship that will advance inclusion and bridge-building,” according to the campaign's website.
When discussing what inspired them to take action, organizers cited Prophet Muhammad's teachings by quoting a passage from the Quran.
“Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: 'Have mercy to those on earth, and the One in Heaven (God) will have mercy upon you,'” the message reads. With the holy book's commandment telling followers to “Repel evil with that which is better,” the Prophet taught them to do their part to fight malevolence — and that's what they are doing.
After the tragic Oregon attack killed her son, Namkai-Meche's mother, Asha Deliverance, wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump urging him to address Islamophobia and the real risks tied to the wave of hatred taking over the country.
“You have said that you will be President for all Americans. So, I ask you Mr. President to take action at this time. Your words and actions are meaningful, here in America and throughout the world,” she wrote.
Unfortunately, even if Trump were to show a change in attitude now, it might be too little too late after having sparked so much anger in the recent past.