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Muslim Organizations Raise Funds for Victims of Orlando Massacre

by Frances Kai-Hwa Wang /
Image: People hold up their cellphones instead of candles as names of those killed are read aloud
People hold up their cellphones instead of candles as names of those killed are read aloud during a memorial service at the University of Central Florida for the victims of the Pulse gay nightclub shooting where Omar Mateen killed 49 people on June 14, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The mass shooting killed at least 49 people and injuring 53 others in what is the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history.Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The Muslim community has launched a fund-raising campaign to help the victims and families affected by Sunday’s mass shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In what is being called the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, officials report that at least 49 people were killed and 53 people were injured during “Latinx Night” at the Pulse Nightclub. Authorities have identified the alleged shooter as 29-year-old Omar Mateen.

Led by the Florida branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Florida), and supported by several Muslim organizations across the country, the “Muslims United for Victims of Pulse Shooting” campaign reached its first goal of $25,000 within hours, its second goal of $50,000 within two days, and is now approaching its third goal of $75,000. They will keep fundraising until Aug. 1.

"Our thoughts and prayers and condolences are with the victims of this heinous act,” Hassan Shibly, executive director of CAIR-Florida said in a statement. “In this holy month of Ramadan many Muslims will be offering their fasting and prayers for them and their families. The vile criminal who perpetrated this does not represent Islam nor the American Muslim community. Muhammad Ali and his legacy do represent our goals and aspirations to better our society and the World; but not this repulsive thug."

RELATED: Muslim, Asian-American LGBTQ Advocates Call for Love and Solidarity after Orlando shooting

Funds raised by CAIR-Florida will be contributed to the OneOrlando Fund, which was set up by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to help the victims and families most affected by the events of June 12. The funds will be administered by the Central Florida Foundation, the region’s community foundation, and will be directed to nonprofit organizations supporting the victims and their families; LGBTQ, Hispanic, faith, and other affected communities; and other underlying causes.

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Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that the campaign's first goal was $50,000, which was reached in two days. It was $25,000 and was reached in several hours.