Muslim Campaign Helps Rebuild Burned Churches

A coalition of Muslim groups in the U.S. have launched an online fundraiser to help rebuild Black churches damaged by fires in the South recently.

At least eight churches have suffered fire damage since the June 17 shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Nine Black worshipers lost their lives on that fatal day.

The church burnings took place within just 10 days of one another, with three being investigated as possible arson cases.

“To many, it is clear that these are attacks on black culture, black religion and black lives,” the coalition wrote on the campaign’s LaunchGood page. “It’s 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,” it added.

The coalition is made up of U.S. organizations Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative, the Arab American Association of New York and Ummah Wide, a digital startup company. So far, more than $30,000 has been raised in six days.

The campaign ends on July 18, and the money will be given to pastors of the burned churches that need it most, the groups said.

“The American Muslim community cannot claim to have experienced anything close to the systematic and institutionalized racism and racist violence that has been visited upon African-Americans,” organizer Imam Zaid Shakir wrote on the campaign’s website.

So far, authorities have not classified any of the fires as hate crimes.

Click here to learn more and donate to the campaign.