London attack: Muslim raises over $30 000 for victims

2017-03-25 15:30
London mayor Sadiq Khan read notes of flower tributes. (Matt Dunham, AP)

London mayor Sadiq Khan read notes of flower tributes. (Matt Dunham, AP)

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London - A crowdfunding campaign by a British Muslim who witnessed an attack in London that killed four people has almost reached a target of about $37 000, which will be donated to the victims' families.

By the time of publishing, more than 1 000 people had donated $33 500 towards the fund.

Muddassar Ahmed was on Wednesday barricaded in a nearby office building in Westminster at the time of the car-and-knife attack, which also injured  dozens.

Offer support

"I was there and I was shocked," he said. "Because I saw what happened, I felt that had to do something for the victims ... I wanted to raise money quickly so I launched the campaign late that night".

"It was primarily to help families of the victims ... it was something that could be done to offer support and empathise with the families."

Ahmed then called his friends to help with fundraising.

Two British Muslim MPs - Naz Shah and Yasmin Qureshi - have since voiced their support for the Muslims United for London initiative.

On the crowdfunding page, Ahmed wrote that he was shocked to witness "the injuries and loss of life outside my window.

"I reflected on what it means to be a born-and-bred Londoner and found myself proud of how security and medical services responded," he said.

The suspect behind the attack, who was killed after he stabbed a policeman to death, was named as 52-year-old Khalid Masood. Reports said he was a Muslim convert.

About 40 people were injured in the attack, 29 of whom were being treated in hospital, according to police. Seven were still in critical condition.

Spread fear

Some of Britain's Muslim community leaders remain concerned about a possible backlash in the aftermath of the attack. Following similar violence across Europe in recent years, Muslims have suffered collective punishment as some equate Islam with "terrorism".

In London, police have advised several mosques to increase security.

"We're in a very difficult position, the Muslim community," said Mohammed Kozbar, chairperson of the Finsbury Park mosque.

"We hope that there's no reaction from some far-right extremists who may use this incident to spread fear and hate and racism among our society."

Read more on:    uk  |  security

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