Thursday, February 23, 2017

Muslims raise funds to repair vandalized Jewish cemetery

A hundred gravestones were toppled at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, part of a rash of anti-Semitic acts last week.

By Louis Chan

A CROWD SOURCE campaign launched by members of the Muslim/American community on Launch Good to repair a vandalized Jewish/American cemetery has raised $124,000 in two days, surpassing the original goal of $20,000.
More than 100 gravestones were vandalized at the historic Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in a suburb of St. Louis over the weekend. This happened not long after bomb threats at dozens of Jewish Community Centers in the United States.

“Muslim/Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish/American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery,” wrote the organizers on Launch Good. “We also extend our deepest condolences to all those who have been affected and to the Jewish community at large.”

The campaign is being lead by Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy.

“While these senseless acts have filled us with sorrow, we reflect on the message of unity, tolerance, and mutual protection found in the Constitution of Medina: an historic social contract between the Medinan Jews and the first Muslim community," stated the website. 

"We are also inspired by the example of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, who stood up to pay respects for a passing Jewish funeral procession. When questioned on why he stood for a Jewish funeral, he responded, 'Is it not a human soul?'”

“This is really a human issue,” said El-Messidi. “But 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. 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.” (Views From the Edge contributed to this report.)