Atheists, humanists take up slain Muslim’s cause
Posted by doctore0 on February 18, 2015
(RNS) Atheists and other nonbelievers have pitched in more than $20,000 to support the pet charity of one of the three Muslim students slain in North Carolina last week, allegedly by a man who harbored anti-theist sentiments.
One of the slain students, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, was a graduate dental student at the University of North Carolina and planned to travel with the Syrian American Medical Society Foundation to Syrian refugee camps. He was shot and killed along with his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and sister-in-law, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, in what police say may have started as a neighborhood parking dispute.
Barakat’s cause has now been adopted by atheists, humanists and other nonbelievers who are raising funds for SAMS in his name. The drive has so far collected $20,125 a week after the killings were committed on Feb. 10.
“We are very happy with the response,” said Dale McGowan, executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief, a humanist organization that encourages giving among nonbelievers. “This is about the response we would get for a natural disaster.”
As of Tuesday (Feb. 17), Barakat’s crowd-sourced fundraising campaign had raised nearly $450,000; the original goal had been $20,000.