Two Muslim Organizations Have Raised Over Half a Million Dollars For Portland Attack Victims

The fundraising is still underway.

As reported by multiple news organizations, a passenger killed two men on a Portland commuter train last week and injured a third as they came to the defense of two young Muslim women he was allegedly taunting with hate speech, and now two Muslim organizations have come together to raise money for the victims' families.

Micah David-Cole Fletcher was wounded in the attack, while Ricky John Best — an Army veteran and father of four — and 23-year-old Taliesin Namkai-Meche lost their lives.

As HuffPost points out, the organizations collecting donations are the Portland-based Muslim Educational Trust and Celebrate Mercy, which is headquartered in Philadelphia. Both charities aim to instill a deeper understanding of Islam and create an open, empowering, and collaborative atmosphere within the Muslim community. Together they have set up a LaunchGood page to cover "immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families — including funeral expenses" and long-term expenses if needed.

"We wish to respond to hate with love, to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action," the page states. "Although this campaign is organized by Muslims, we welcome people of all faiths to contribute. No amount of money will bring back the victims, but we do hope to lessen their family's burdens in some way and also show our heartfelt appreciation for their heroic acts against Islamophobia. Let's all stand together against hate."

So far the campaign has raised more than $544,000, and there are still two days of fundraising left to go. At one point money was being raised at a rate of $1,000 every five minutes, and the Muslim Public Affairs Council has donated at least $10,000, according to the page.

It's also worth noting that Celebrate Mercy's most recent campaign — Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemeteries — raised over $150,000 to repair vandalized Jewish cemeteries back in February.

Namkai-Meche's mother, Asha Deliverance, has made clear her desire to have something good come of her son's untimely passing. In an open letter to President Trump she wrote, "Please encourage all Americans to protect and watch out for one another. Please condemn any acts of violence, which result directly from hate speech & hate groups. I am praying you will use your leadership to do so."

At a vigil for her son and Best last Saturday, Deliverance was photographed embracing a woman wearing a headscarf. 

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According to a separate HuffPost article, Deliverance urged mourners to "give it up for love."

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