This year, Muslim Americans are giving us the ultimate lesson in humanity during the holy month of Ramadan. Following a recent spate of predominantly African-American churches being set on fire, Muslim Americans are helping rebuild the burned Black churches in a stunning show of community rarely presented in mainstream media.
After the horrific shooting in Charleston, S.C., where nine Black parishioners were killed at a historical Southern African-American church, eight other churches in the South, all catering to mostly the Black community, have been set ablaze in the span of 10 days. In response, a coalition of Muslim groups launched a fundraiser online to help repair these churches.
The Ramadan project is as a prime example of how a diverse, multicultural society should work.
"We must always keep in mind that the Muslim community and the Black community are not different communities."
"These are attacks on Black culture, Black religion and Black lives," the fundraising page on Launchgood read. "These kinds of attacks on Black churches are a very old form of intimidation in the South, historically used to strike fear into the hearts of Black people. 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."
Investigators have ruled three of the fires as arson and one caused by lightning. The rest are still under investigation.
Consisting of U.S. organizations Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, the Arab American Association of New York and digital startup Ummah Wide, the coalitian has so far raised $51,657 within a week, slightly surpassing its $50,000 goal. The project closes on July 18, a day after Ramadan ends.
"We must always keep in mind that the Muslim community and the Black community are not different communities," the fundraising page read. "We are profoundly integrated in many ways, in our overlapping identities and in our relationship to this great and complicated country. We are connected to Black churches through our extended families, our friends and teachers, and our intertwined histories and convergent present."
Cover image: Getty Images / Spencer Platt
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