Toronto - Safely insulated in his office building while last Wednesday’s terrorist attack occurred, Muddassar Ahmed decided he needed to do something to support the city he loves. Only hours later Muslims United For London was launched and a fundraiser was born.
Toronto – Safely insulated in his office building while last Wednesday’s terrorist attack occurred, Muddassar Ahmed decided he needed to do something to support the city he loves. Only hours later Muslims United For London was launched and a fundraiser was born.
Wednesday began much like any other day for London’s Muddassar Ahmed. He never imagined that by the end of that day he would be spearheading an effort to raise financial support for the victims of London’s worst terrorist attack in years.
According to a report in the Independent, he had been at work only about ten minutes that morning before his attention was drawn to a commotion outside his office window. Nothing prepared him for the sight he witnessed. “I was shocked to see the injuries and the loss of life outside my window,” he said.
A man later identified as Khalid Masood had propelled his rented vehicle into crowds of pedestrians as they made their way across Westminster Bridge, injuring more than 50 people and ultimately killing three. After crashing the vehicle into a gate, he started approaching Parliament House on foot. When he was confronted by a pair of unformed officers, he lashed out with the knife he was carrying, fatally wounding PC Keith Palmer. Moving closer to his target, he was confronted once more only this time the officers were armed. Masood was finally stopped and died from his gunshot wounds.
Sequestered in his office building for four hours, Ahmed could only look on in horror and helplessness. It was then he decided he had to do something productive and the idea of fundraising came to his mind.
Muslims United For London was born later that same day and donations began almost immediately. Ahmed shares his inspiration on the fundraiser’s website. “I reflected on what it means to be a born-and-bred Londoner and found myself proud of how security and medical services responded.”
Though the idea was born from a Muslim Londoner’s desire to do something “proactive” to show his support for the victims and their families, Ahmed encouraged people from all faith groups to donate and show support and solidarity. He also acknowledges that, although money hardly replaces the lives lost and irrevocably shattered, he believes it was important to show unity and compassion in such a terrible time. “While no amount of money will bring back the lives lost or take away from the pain the victims and their families are going through, we hope to lessen their burden in some way.”
The goal for Muslims United For London was to raise $30,000. With the total collected already reaching $34,500, it seems Ahmed’s message has struck a chord. For Muddassar Ahmed, the issue is a simple one, “… doing something proactive is part of the solution.”