Muslim-Americans raise over $100,000 to repair vandalized historic Jewish cemetery.
Despite Donald Trump’s repeated assurances that his government would tackle the problem of anti-Semitism, American Jews were aghast to wake up one morning to find almost 200 tombstones in the Jewish cemetery at St. Louis vandalized.
It was two American-Muslim activists who came forward to raise funds to restore the cemetery. Activists Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi started a crowdfunding campaign to raise $20,000 to contribute towards the restoration work. Their crowdfunding request was so successful that they managed to raise over $100,000!The secret behind the success of this fund was a generous nudge by Harry Potter series author, J.K. Rowling. Rowling posted her views about the campaign on Twitter, calling it a very “beautiful thing.”
This is such a beautiful thing.https://t.co/grBbo1hetz
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) February 21, 2017
The activists hope that this act on their part would send a message of solidarity to the American-Jewish community. They hope to show Islamophobic and anti-Semitic forces that the two communities are united and will look out for each other during these difficult times. As of now, America under Trump is growing increasingly unfriendly and hostile towards both communities. While various restrictions and bans have been proposed against Muslims, the Jews have been facing vandals, death threats and even bomb threats.
The campaign will be running until March, the activists declared. After restoring the cemetery, the remaining amounts will be donated to various Jewish organizations. Missouri governor Eric Greitens too came forward to support the campaign and promised full support in leading a team of clean-up volunteers to restore the site. He challenged the vandals saying that each time they try to divide people through such acts of desecration, they will only succeed in uniting them further. The campaign started by two Muslims is a strong proof of the governor’s words. The activists themselves say on their crowdfunding page that “there is no place for hate, desecration and violence in America.”
— Margaret Gilroy♏ (@Magmaggil) February 22, 2017
Muslims and Jews in America have been coming closer and forming alliances even before Trump became president. Although Trump himself refutes allegations that he supports anti-Semitism, especially since his own daughter converted to Orthodox Judaism, his connections with figures who are well-known for their racist, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic views have made it difficult for people to accept his defensive statements.
- Jewish Telegraphic Agency
- Israeli National News
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