Photographer Riza Izhar and cleric Agus Abdullah took turns describing their experiences investigating the conflict in Syria and the misery it caused for Muslims there.
"We went there to find out for ourselves what is really happening there," Agus told an audience of about 30 men at the At-Taqwa Mosque in Kemanggisan, West Jakarta on December 15th.
The two men were sent to Syria for two weeks in June and July by the Muslim Concern for Syria and Palestine Forum (FIPS) to channel humanitarian aid it raised since September 2012, Agus said.
After the two men spoke, participants were also asked to contribute money.
FIPS coordinates with aid groups in Syria to distribute blankets, clothes and other basics purchased with funds collected from Indonesian Muslims, Riza said.
In March, FIPS raised over Rp 30 million ($2,466) for Syrian Muslims at a Cibubur mosque, FIPS spokesman Hardiansyah told Khabar Southeast Asia.
Where does the money go?
FIPS is not alone in collecting cash to help Syrian Muslims. Though for a good cause, such fundraising raises questions about transparency and accountability.
Muhyiddin Junaidi, Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) chairman for co-operation and international relations, told Khabar there is a high risk of misuse.
"It could be problematic due to the lack of transparency," he said.
Muhyiddin said the MUI calls on Muslims to donate money through official, well-established charity groups.
"This is in the name of solidarity but incorrectly addressed," he said. "If it is for solidarity, there are still many Muslims in Indonesia that need help."
Dewi Kurniawati, an alumna of the University of Indonesia's postgraduate program on Terrorism in International Security, said people who donate money during a religious gathering might be reluctant to ask questions.
"It would be hard to ask for accountability if the call to donate was made by a figure with religious authority. We are taught that once we donate our money, we have to sincerely let it go and not question it again," she told Khabar.
Warning on terrorism funding
Terrorism expert Al Chaidar said crowdfunding is commonly used by religious movements.
But he acknowledged crowdfunding is prone to misuse for terrorism funding, citing an Aceh case where money was raised in the name of Muslim Palestine solidarity. It was later discovered the money raising group had links to Dulmatin, one of the 2002 Bali bombers.
He added sometimes local committees do not know whether funds they raise could be misused by the main management committee.
"However, it doesn't mean that other crowdfunding efforts are flawed, as many of them are transparent and accountable," he told Khabar.
But Indonesia needs more of such monitoring, Al said, especially when money is channeled in Islamic societies through traditional means such as hawala, which systemically remits money without any actual movement of currency.
Riza and Agus said FIPS can account for every penny it has collected in the name of Muslim solidarity.
"We are first and foremost accountable to God for raising this money, but we are also accountable to the public from whom the money was raised," Riza said.