Muslims raise over $50k for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Police officers guard the Tree of Life synagogue following shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania US

The massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the worst hate crime against Jews in U.S. history, has also produced moments of hope in the past two days, as USA media reported that Muslim organizations have launched a mass-funding campaign to raise money for the victims and their families.

Thousands of people jammed an intersection amid light rain for a vigil Saturday evening for the victims of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue earlier in the day.

The suspect, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, reportedly yelled, "All Jews must die", before carrying out the attack, according to police sources.

Slain Daniel Stein, 71, was a dad-of-two, and his 1-year-old grandchild, Henri, was "the love of his life", said the man's nephew, Steven Halle.

Robert Bowers, who has a history of posting anti-Semitic material online, was charged under federal hate crime statutes, and could face the death penalty if convicted.

"This is a coward and he is not a man by any definition that we use in the Department of Defense", Mattis said. The oldest, Rose Mallinger, was 97.

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Another campaign prompted by the attack was started by an Iranian American living in Washington DC Shay Khatiri has raised so far more than $540,000 (Dh1.9m) that will go directly to the Tree of Life Synagogue.

"What was going through my mind was people who were going to walk, or children who run in front of their parents, behind their parents, people in wheelchairs, in strollers", he said. "This time it was us, but we can't tolerate hate in our country here, or anywhere".

Brothers Cecil, 59, (right) and David (left) Rosenthal 54, were both disabled and volunteered at the synagogue.

"Just because I do something differently than you doesn't make me an evil or bad person", said Edward Feldman.

At least 11 lives were lost during the Saturday mass killing at The Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Bowers surrendered and was taken to a hospital where he was listed in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

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The pair exchanged gunfire, Mr Jones said, and Mr Bowers re-entered the building before a SWAT team arrived.

"You have to talk to them in a way they understand", he said.

The groups aim to fund funeral expenses for the families of those killed in the shooting and medical bills for the injured, the groups say.

He said authorities believed the suspect entered the synagogue, murdered the worshippers and was leaving when he encountered a uniformed police officer.

It was the deadliest attack against the Jewish community on USA soil, according to the Anti-Defamation League, a civil rights group that tracks antisemitism. "It's not easy being away but I was a big part of the Jewish community there, I worked at Jewish day camps and I know people at the JCC and they opened it and provided grief counselors - they're doing what they can in a time of tragedy".

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