Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

The horrifying attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue showed us the very worst of humanity. But it’s aftermath is also reminding us of humanity at its best.

Case in point: A fundraiser organized by two local Muslim organizations has already raised more than $120,000 for the families of the shooting victims.

“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action,” reads a message posted on the campaign site from the groups Celebrate Mercy and MPower Change. “Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: ‘Show mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens will show mercy to you.’ The Quran also teaches us to ‘Repel evil by that which is better’ (41:34).”


The campaign reached its initial goal in just six hours and more than 3,000 people have donated.

Funds raised in the campaign will go toward immediate needs including medical supplies and helping to pay for the funeral expenses of the 11 individuals killed in the shooting. Two other civilians were injured in the shooting along with our police officers.

Showing the compassion shared between two seemingly dispirate groups, especially religious ones, is a reminder that kindness can topple hate even in the most tragic circumstances.

The fundraiser also set off a number of hopeful and inspiring tweets between Muslims, Jews and others who used this moment of horror as an opportunity for unity and peace.

In an ideal world, shootings like this and hate crimes in general, would never happen. But it’s important to see both the kindness that has emerged from tragedy but also be reminded that it’s OK to have differences, even ones as profound as personal faith, without losing site of the humanity that binds us all together.