Muslim student raises N6m for 7 churches destroyed by fire

"We hope that these churches might stand tall again as a testament to the power of human goodness over human vileness and to one day be a place where God's name is oft-remembered."

Faatimah Amatullah Knight

A 23-year-old student Faatimah Knight has raised $30,000 (about N6m) to help rebuilt black churches destroyed by fire.

The money was raised to help up to seven churches that were destroyed in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting.

When Knight, a Masters student at the Chicago Theological Seminary, started the unique #RespondWithLove Ramadan project with her friends, she did not know how much they would be able to raise.

Now they have $30,000 and she told The Independent that distributing the money is the next step.

“We have been overwhelmed by how generous people have been,” Knight said.

“We will figure out how to distribute the money.”

Knight said people of different people religions donated to her cause, adding that some of her friends asked why she was raising money for Christian houses of worship instead of a Muslim cause.

She said Islam taught of the need to protect the weak and vulnerable, hence her urge to support the vulnerable churches.

“I’m a black person and I do identify with the wider black community at that level,” she said.

“Historically, the black community has been vulnerable.”

In an interview with the BBC, she said the #RespondWithLove project was a way to show that they were concerned about the plight of the Black community.

"We wanted to show that as a Muslim community, their pain did not go unnoticed by us—that we did, if fact, feel deeply for their loss," she said.

She raised the funds through LaunchGood, a Muslim-run crowdfunding platform for ethically sound projects.

The group reached $20,000 goal in two and a half days.

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