On Tuesday, Muslim American activists Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi launched an online fundraiser to help repair a Jewish cemetery that was vandalized this week in St. Louis, Missouri. The LaunchGood fundraiser, “Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery,” has raised over $80,000 within 24 hours, which is four times the projected goal of $20,000 by the end of March. The fundraiser page promoted a message of unity: “Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America. We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”
On Monday morning, St. Louis police responded to a report of the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery being vandalized and found over 170 of the headstones destroyed. Phillip Weiss, the owner of a monument company helping to fix the cemetery said, "A lot of people are coming out—they're just interested to see, 'Was their loved one's monument affected by this?'”
Police are currently investigating security footage from the cemetery, but have turned up nothing solid yet.
Recently, there have been bomb threats to various Jewish community centers throughout the U.S., for which Muslim Americans have offered aid. One Muslim American civil rights organization, The Council on American-Islamic Relations, offered a $5,000 reward for any information to help find the people behind the false bomb threats.
The Muslim Americans’ support of the Jewish community is in direct opposition to Rick Santorum’s comments to CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Tuesday: "If you look at the fact, the people who are responsible for a lot of this anti-Semitism that we're seeing, I hate to say it, a lot of it is coming from the pro-Palestinian or Muslim communities."
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