Portland 'murders': Muslim-led campaign raises $165,000 for families of stabbing attack victims

Campaign goal was raised from $50,000 to $200,000 within hours

Rachael Revesz
Sunday 28 May 2017 10:36 BST
More than 2,000 people attended the candlelit vigil
More than 2,000 people attended the candlelit vigil (AP)

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Muslim communities have spearheaded a fundraising effort for the victims and their families who were affected by a stabbing on a train in Portland.

Two men were killed and a third was injured after they tried to protect two women being verbally assaulted on a train by suspect Jeremy Christian.

One of the women was wearing a hijab and Christian was reportedly yelling anti-Muslim remarks at them. When the men intervened, they were attacked.

Donations have poured in from more than 4,000 people, pushing the fundraising goal of $50,000 to $200,000 within hours.

The campaign, led by the Muslim Educational Trust and Celebrate Mercy, a non-profit which aims to counter misinformation about Islam, has raised $1,000 every five minutes and has gathered $165,000 as of Sunday morning.

“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 fundraising page reads.

“Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: 'Have mercy to those on earth, and the One in Heaven (God) will have mercy upon you.'"

At least two other fundraising efforts have gathered more than $150,000 for the victims and their families.

Portland attack suspect Jeremy Christian at a 'free speech rally' making a Nazi salute

Ricky Jordan Best, 53, a father of four and army veteran, was killed on the scene, and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche later died at hospital.

Micah David Cole Fletcher, 21, is still at hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Mr Fletcher, a Portland State University student, won a 2013 poetry competition with a poem that condemned prejudices against Muslims after the 9/11 attacks.

Fundraisers say the money will be distributed for medical costs, funeral expenses, and for Best’s wife and four children.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, the largest advocacy group for Muslims in the US, called on President Donald Trump to condemn the attacks.

More than 2,000 people attended the candlelit vigil at the Hollywood Transit Centre, where the attack took place, on Saturday evening.

Christian, who was seen to make Nazi salutes at a free speech rally in April and who posted racist commentary on social media, is expected in court this week.

He faces multiple counts of aggravated and attempted murder as well as two misdemeanours resulting from being a convicted felon and owning a restricted weapon.

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