Following the deadly attack in Manchester, an explosion during a concert featuring American Ariana Grand, initiatives are being led by several Muslim organizations with the purpose of raising money that would benefit the victims of the attack, which left 22 individuals dead. Muslim Engagement and Development, a group with no government ties, has already raised over £2,300.
CEO of MEND, Dr. Shazad Amin, was quoted saying that providing assistance to those who are in need is fundamental to their faith, the individual’s background does not matter. He went on to explain that being a British Muslim, he understands and relates to the same fears of terror that everyone does, saying that the Muslim community stands with the victims along with their families during these atrocities. In order to properly handle and distribute the contributed money, MEND intends to enlist the assistance of either local law enforcement or an accounting firm to manage and distribute the money.
The British Muslim Heritage Centre is another group that is leading a fundraising campaign, as well as the organization the Islamic Society of Britain. The combined efforts of these groups have added another £700 in only a few hours of campaigning. The page this group has set up reads that although the campaign is Muslim-led, they are open to the contributions of their friends, whether they are of another faith or have no faith whatsoever, although they do make an entreaty that British Muslims, Imans, mosques, groups, and leaders make contributions and help to endorse their fundraising initiatives. This group also has made promises to work with the assistance of professionals or authorities to ensure that funds are handled and distributed appropriately.
The group’s efforts have begun as a response to the attacks of Salmean Abedi chose to use an explosive device in a foyer that separates Manchester Arenal and Victoria station promptly following the conclusion of Ariana Grande’s concert. His attack led to 22 individuals losing their life, and 59 others suffering injuries.
There are several other groups that have begun raising funds for the victims, and all are seeing a great response to their efforts. Just Giving has received £562,000 in donations. A GoFundMe page has raised over £8,000 to give to Chris Parker. Parker is a homeless man who held a dying woman in his arms and comforted her after she fell victim to the attack.
The attack has been condemned by Muslim leaders, including the local Ramadhan Foundation along with the Muslim Council of Britain. Taxi drivers who are Muslim are being thanked and praised, as they were among those who assisted the victims and attendees of the concert in the chaos of the aftermath of the explosion, offering free rides to ensure that as many as possible were able to reach their homes safely.
The explosion also brought out those protesting Islam, as the English Defence League gathered together outside of the Arndale Shopping Center Tuesday. They attempted to wave English flags and signs saying “stand up against Islam. This group was quickly shut down when they were outnumbered by Mancunians. One man was heard shouting that the racist innuendos of the group would not be tolerated.