Muslim Americans Rally to Repair Vandalized Jewish Cemetery
News| | By Steven Lerner
After Jews in Texas offered their synagogue to a group of Muslims who recently had their mosque vandalized, it seems that Muslim Americans are returning the favor in an incredible way.
A pair of Muslim American activists — Linda Sarour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy — launched a crowdfunding campaign to repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery.
“The Muslim-American community extends our hands to help rebuild this sacred space where Jewish-American families have laid their loved ones to rest since the late 1800s,” read the description on the crowdfunding website.
On Tuesday, officials at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery near St. Louis reported that over 100 headstones were vandalized. Police are still investigating who committed the horrible act.
In wake of this hate crime, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens condemned the attack, and the Missouri House of Representatives held a moment of silence.
— Ari Herzog (@ariherzog) February 20, 2017
Within three hours, the Muslim American activists surpassed their $20,000 fundraising goal for the vandalized Jewish cemetery. As of February 22, they raised over $66,000.
Even celebrities like famed Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling were blown away by the incredible act of generosity.
This is such a beautiful thing.https://t.co/grBbo1hetz
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 21, 2017
“That story goes to show more than anything the humanity of the prophet. We should bring the story to life here and show every person deserves to rest in peace,” El-Messidi said via the Washington Post. “This is a great way to show respect and honor for our Jewish cousins.”
Although there appears to be an increase in hate crimes toward the Jewish and Muslim communities in the U.S. since the 2016 election, this story proves that people of different faiths can work together to fight hate.
“Out of this horrible election cycle, something beautiful has come out of it and [Muslims and Jews have] bonded together to support each other and stand up to this hate.,” El-Messidi said via the Washington Post. “Politics can get in the way of our basic humanity; I hope this breaks through all those walls, no pun intended, to help bring us closer together.”
Your Daily Dish reached out to Sarour for a comment.