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Muslim charities to help rebuild burnt black churches

Muslim charities to help rebuild burnt black churches

NEW YORK: In an expression of compassion, three Muslim charitable organisations are raising money to help African Americans rebuild churches that were the target of arson attacks following the horrific murders in Charleston, South Carolina.

According to sources, the three charities launched the initiative on July 2 and plan to donate all the money collected by the end of Ramazan to the churches destroyed by fire in recent weeks.

At least eight black churches have been burnt down in the US since the Charleston shootings, where a gunman killed nine parishioners at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, raising concerns for America’s black community.

The three charities — the Arab American Association of New York, Ummah Wide and Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative — have set the goal of raising $30,000 in an effort to help the community.

A statement on the charities’ fundraising page said: “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.

“As Muslims we know the importance of protecting the vulnerable and respecting people who call on God in their various tongues. We are calling on you to help add our support to faith communities across the country pooling their resources to rebuild these churches.”

The “Respond with love” campaign has so far raised $28,963 with the help of more than 600 individual donors during Ramazan, said a report. Three of the church fires have already been ruled as arson attacks, while the others are still under investigation.

Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2015

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