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Muslim groups raise money to cover all Pittsburgh synagogue victims’ funeral costs

The Tree of Life Synagogue shooting tragically interrupted a Saturday service, when the synagogue was most crowded. The killer intentionally sought out Jewish victims, since he believed that they were committing genocide against his people. Eleven people died during the shooting, and the community has been forever scarred. While the killer may have succeeded in his goal to kill people, his attempt to destroy the community, to sew discord, and to spread hate failed spectacularly.

The psychology of mass killers is complicated. In brief, however, they get to a point where they think that humanity––or certain kinds of humanity––is a cancer upon the earth. They are filled with so much hate for the world that they wish only to kill everyone, including themselves. They would be happy with nothing short of total genocide, against either a specific group or every person on earth. These are fundamentally broken people, damaged by years of hatred, isolation, and mental illness.

Killers who focus on race, like this killer, hope to make a measurable impact for their cause. They hope to spread their message and to inspire others to do the same kind of damage, or they just want to kill enough people to vent their rage. It’s not logical, it won’t work, and it’s horrific. But they’re not logical, so they don’t consider the latter issues.

At times like these, it’s natural that we should wonder what we can do in the future to prevent these kinds of tragedies. There are a number of things, of course. Voting to fund mental health care, reaching out to people in our lives that we know might need to hear our voices, or going out of our way to be nice to strangers who look like they’re having a bad day. Maybe these take too much work for you. Maybe you’d rather just click a few buttons.

If so, take a lesson from Pittsburgh’s Muslim community. They have effectively demonstrated a great way to disincentivize these killers: they created a fundraising campaign for the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting. They managed to raise enough money to cover the funeral costs of the victims, who need to be buried quickly due to Jewish funeral traditions.

So, the next time some tragedy like this happens, you should continue to be active in whatever ways you wish. But consider also showing financial support to victims and their families. Do so loudly and proudly. Get your local media involved. As Mr. Rogers said, in every tragedy you can look for the helpers. Let’s drown out the voice of killers with the voice of helpers. Let’s show them that their actions are not only useless, but they’re going to do the opposite of what they want.

Full story at TV10.

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