Muslims Unite for Portland Heroes

Muslims Fundraise for Families of the 3 Portland Heroes - killed and injured while defending 2 women from anti-Muslim harassment

Portland, OR Causes

Partial Funding

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***UPDATE 1 (Saturday, May 27 at 8 PM EST): We are so grateful that the campaign has gone viral, raising $1,000 every 5 minutes. We hit our initial goal of $60,000 in only 5 hours - the goal is now $90,000. Let's respond to hate with love and show the victims' families how much their heroism means to us. 

***UPDATE 2 (Saturday, May 27 at 10 PM EST): The campaign has not slowed down, still raising $1,000 every 5 minutes. We hit our second target of $100,000 in only 8 hours - the goal is now $150,000.

***UPDATE 3 (Monday, May 29 at 1 PM EST): We are grateful to all the supporters giving generously to this campaign which has raised $400,000 in 2 days - with 5 days remaining. This campaign has recently reached national media attention on TV and articles (see links below).

***UPDATE 4 (Monday, May 29 at 6 PM EST):  Leaders from MET, representing Portland's Muslim community, met today with the mother of Taliesin Namkai-Meche: one of Friday's heroic victims. MET leaders are also planning to meet the other two families between today and tomorrow (see picture below):


***UPDATE 5 (Friday, June 2 at 1 PM EST):  Leaders from MET, representing Portland's Muslim community, visited Micah Fletcher and his family. They recorded a short video for Muslim Americans which you can view by clicking the play button below: 


View the video message by click the play button above or clicking here

***UPDATE 6 (Monday, June 5 at 3 AM EST):  The campaign has now raised $600,000 - ten times the original $60K goal. This is now the largest crowdfunding campaign for the heroes' families - a campaign organized by Muslim-Americans but with over 11,000 donations from people of all backgrounds and faiths. The fundraising will end this evening which marks exactly 10 days since the tragic attack occurred on Friday, May 26. 

Read below to learn about plans on how funds will be used, based on initial discussions with the families.

Resources

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2 Killed, 1 Injured in Portland while Defending Women From Anti-Muslim Harassment

Two men were stabbed to death and another man severely injured Friday on a light-rail train in Portland, Oregon after intervening when a passenger began “ranting and raving”, shouting anti-Muslim slurs at two young women, police said. - Washington Post 

These heroes were trying to defend the two Muslim women from being harassed and became victims themselves - 53-year-old Ricky John Best of Happy Valley, 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche of Southeast Portland, unfortunately, losing their lives when stabbed in the neck and 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher of Southeast Portland was severely injured. Below, see photos and more info on the victims who were killed. 

The Campaign

We wish to respond to hate with love, to evil with good, as our faith instructs us, and send a powerful message of compassion through action. Our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said: "Have mercy to those on earth, and the One in Heaven (God) will have mercy upon you." The Prophet's life exemplified that central commandment in the Quran: "Repel evil with that which is better" (41:34).  

Although this campaign is organized by Muslims, we welcome people of all faiths to contribute (all donations are tax-deductible). No amount of money will bring back the victims, but we do hope to lessen their family's burdens in some way and also show our heartfelt appreciation for their heroic acts against Islamophobia. Let's all stand together against hate. 

The Funds

Fundraising proceeds will firstly help with the immediate, short-term needs of the grieving families - including funeral expenses. If needed, funds will also help with the medical bills of Micah David-Cole Fletcher (currently hospitalized). After all immediate expenses - such as funeral and memorial services - are covered, extra funds will go towards long-term expenses of the families. For example, Mr. Best - one of the victims - left behind a wife and four children. His family will definitely need significant help since all of his kids are still teenagers or younger - still needing to go through college. 

Taliesin Namkai-Meche's mother is passionate about ensuring that her son's death inspires lasting change that builds bridges of understand and peace. To quote a statement from the family, "We ask that in honor of his memory, we use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change." We are thus discussing with Talisin's family the potential opportunity - if there are enough funds remaining - for an endowed program or scholarship that will advance inclusion and bridge-building.

Our Team 

This campaign was cofounded and is administered by two 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations:

  •  Muslim Education Trust (MET): An organization dedicated to the betterment of society through education, cooperation, networking, and programs which benefit Muslims and non-Muslims in Portland. The cofounding President of MET is Wajdi Said.  
  • CelebrateMercy - a national organization that teaches about the Prophet Muhammad's life and character through programs and social campaigns. Its most recent campaign - Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemeteries - raised over $150,000 to repair vandalized Jewish cemeteries. CelebrateMercy's Founding Director is Tarek El-Messidi

All proceeds from this campaign will be collected by CelebrateMercy and distributed to the families locally by MET. All donations are tax-deductible.

Organizational Donors

We want to acknowledge the following organizations that have donated at least $10,000 to this fund: 

For organizational or corporate inquiries, email portland@celebratemercy.com

About The Heroic Victims

  • Hero 1: Ricky John Best


Ricky Best, 53, was one of two men killed in a brutal attack Friday aboard a MAX train was a city of Portland employee, an Army veteran and one-time candidate for Clackamas County commissioner. He worked as a supervisor for the city Bureau of Development Services.

He was headed to his home in Happy Valley when he and two others intervened as a man began hurling anti-Muslim epithets at two Muslim teenagers aboard a MAX Green Line train, witnesses said. The man then pulled a knife and stabbed the three men, killing two and injuring one. Best leaves behind three teenage sons and a 12-year-old daughter, Austin said. (Source: Oregon Live)

  • Hero 2: Taliesin Namkai-Meche


Namkai-Meche, 23, is the other victim who lost his life on Friday. He graduated from Reed in 2016 with an economics degree and worked for the Cadmus Group. His family released a statement Saturday afternoon:

"Taliesin Myrddin lived a joyous and full life. His enthusiasm was infectious. We lost him in a senseless act that brought close to home the insidious rift of prejudice and intolerance that is too familiar, too common. He was resolute in his conduct (and) respect of all people. In his final act of bravery, he held true to what he believed is the way forward. He will live in our hearts forever as the just, brave, loving, hilarious and beautiful soul he was. We ask that in honor of his memory, we use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change. We choose love. Safe journey Taliesin. We love you." (Source: Oregon Live)

  • Hero 3: Micah David-Cole Fletcher

  • The surviving victim of the MAX train stabbing Friday, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, is a former Madison high school student who won a 2013 poetry competition with a poem condemning prejudices faced by Muslims (view video clip here). 

    Fletcher's decision to stand up for the women was perfectly in character, said Mandela Cordeta, 26, an old friend. "Fletcher has been passionate about social justice for years," he said. Fletcher, now a Portland State University music student, won a Verselandia poetry slam in 2013. The subject of one poem was the continuing prejudice Muslims face after the 9/11 attacks (view video clip here). 


    At the time, he said his growing passion for writing had transformed into a desire to speak out for others. "I was sick of not being heard," he had said, "and I was sick of other people not being heard."  (Source: Oregon Live)

    Media Coverage (updated daily)

    Click the links below:


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