Since the tragic shootings in San Bernardino, vile, hate-filled rhetoric aimed at the Muslim community has been flooding the news and social media. Those who practice Islam are being persecuted, attacked, and reviled by entire communities. This is all happening because of a few radical extremists who are attacking cities globally, most recently in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California.

But it’s dangerous to lump all Muslims together — and you certainly don’t hear an uproar claiming that all Christians act like the Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear. The truth is that most religions can – and have been – used as excuses to commit heinous acts. But that doesn’t mean we can condemn all religious people as being violent.

Combating hatred with love and generosity is a LaunchGood campaign called ‘Muslims United for San Bernardino.’ And since last week’s attack on the Inland Regional Medical Center, the campaign has collected more than $183,000 dollars in donations for the victims of the attack at time of writing. They claim:

“We wish to respond to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: “Have mercy to those on earth, and the One in the Heavens (God) will have mercy upon you.” And the Quran teaches to “Repel evil by that which is better” (41:34).”

Here are some statements from Muslim Leaders involved:

“We are sad at the suffering of our neighbors in San Bernardino. We are with them not only with the words of sympathy and condolences; we should show the acts of kindness and compassion. Victims’ Fund is a noble idea. I urge all American Muslims to contribute to this fund.”
– Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Chair – Southern CA Islamic Shura Council

“The Prophet Muhammad said that even a person of little faith will remove a harmful object from the road. Contrast that with extremists like ISIS who are blowing up roads and killing civilians. This united American Muslim campaign aims to reclaim our faith from extremists by responding to evil with good, by rebuilding what they destroy. We know that no amount of money will bring back loved ones of the victims’ families, but we hope that it at least alleviates some financial burdens in the wake of this horrible tragedy.”
– Tarek El-Messidi, CelebrateMercy Founding Director

“The center and its members offer their deepest condolences to those affected by this tragedy and we stand with our fellow Americans in this difficult time.”
– The Islamic Community Center of Redlands

Muslim-Americans are Americans, and they deserve the same rights and respect as everyone else. We cannot judge the many by the very few who seek to cause harm. So, while Republicans and many decide to throw hatred at every single Muslim in the nation, many Muslim communities are responding with astounding compassion and generosity. And as Martin Luther King Jr. said:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Hopefully this will come to fruition.

Story originally published on Addicting Info