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Muslims Unite for Toronto Shooting Victims

TORONTO – Canadian Muslim charities have launched a crowdfunding campaign on LaunchGood.com to raise funds for the shooting victims and their families.

“We are deeply saddened to mourn the loss of lives. Our condolences are with the victims and all those affected by this senseless shooting,” Dawanet and Islamic Relief Canada stated.

“Let us maintain our strength as a city and community – we are #TorontoStrong. Together, let us encourage love, compassion, and unity and extend our support to all those who need it.

“Islamic Relief Canada and DawaNet remain committed to assisting communities through their recovery from tragic incidents. We call on all Canadians to come together in support of the victims and their families.”

On the evening of Sunday, July 22nd, 29-year-old Faisal Hussain opened fire on passersby in Toronto’s busy Greektown/Danforth Avenue neighborhood.

An 18-year-old woman and 10-year-old girl are dead, along with 13 people injured.

Dawanet was previously able to raise over $200,000 for the victims of the Toronto Van Attack which took place earlier this year.

“Though this is a Muslim-led campaign, we welcome our friends of other faiths to also contribute. Funds will be distributed to the victims’ families by Islamic Relief Canada,” the Islamic charities added.

“All fundraising proceeds will help with the immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families. No amount of money will bring back their loved ones, but we do hope to lessen their burden in some way.”

Hussain’s family emailed a statement to CBC Toronto saying they are devastated by what happened and that their son was struggling with “severe mental health challenges,” including psychosis and depression.

“We are at a terrible loss for words but we must speak out to express our deepest condolences to the families who are now suffering on account of our son’s horrific actions,” the family’s statement said.

“While we did our best to seek help for him throughout his life of struggle and pain, we could never imagine that this would be his devastating and destructive end.”

Several friends and neighbours who spoke with CBC News described Hussain as quiet and shy, and some were aware of his mental health problems.