LONDON – A crowdfunding campaign started by a Muslim man who witnessed the Westminster attack has raised more than £20,000 in just a day for victims of the atrocity and their families.
“I was shocked to see the injuries and loss of life outside my window,” Muddassar Ahmed wrote, The Independent reported.
Ahmed said he started the fund after witnessing the attack, having entered Portcullis House just 10 minutes before terror struck and being barricaded inside for four hours.
“I reflected on what it means to be a born-and-bred Londoner and found myself proud of how security and medical services responded, how ordinary passers-by offered first aid, and what our Parliament means to me, an institution that is the oldest of its kind in the world and how, regardless of our critiques of government policies or political parties, remains an institution that reflects how the will of the people can be expressed with civility and dignity,” he added.
Putting fund’s target at £10,000, Ahmed, one of the team members behind the Muslims United for London campaign, raised it later to £20,000 and £30,000 because of the unexpected “high demand and heartwarming response”.
Donations continued to pour in on Friday morning after police announced a fourth victim of the attack had died.
Scotland Yard’s Deputy Commissioner, Mark Rowley, identified the suspected attacker only as Adrian Russell in a press conference but the Metropolitan Police later gave his surname as Ajao.
His birth name was originally reported as Adrian Elms, with his mother named as Janet Elms. The Daily Mail reported that she married a man named Phillip Ajao in West Sussex when Masood was a small child.
Masood had been jailed repeatedly for violent crime dating back to the 1980s, including grievous bodily harm, possession of offensive weapons and assault.
Sadiq Khan, London’s first Muslim mayor, urged Muslims to be “vigilant” against the dangers of Islamist ideology and hate preachers.
He urged people to ensure young people know “true Islam” from online propaganda to help them combat the risk of grooming and radicalization.
“Terrorists want to attack London is because they hate the fact that we don’t just tolerate each other – whether you’re a Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, member of an organized faith or not, we respect, embrace and celebrate each other and that’s going to carry on,” Khan said.