Recent headlines have been peppered with reports of various acts of violence, from vandalism to racist YouTube videos to other forms of hate speech—the list goes on and on. It is more than a little heartwarming, then, to see one community reach out to another. As of about 11 a.m. EST Wednesday, Muslim activists had raised more than $70,000 to help repair a vandalized Jewish cemetery in Missouri.
Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy pulled together to organize the campaign, centered on the historic Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery. As ABC News reports, the outpouring of love and support came after more than 170 headstones were damaged either late Sunday or early Monday at the Jewish cemetery in University City, a St. Louis suburb.
The $70,000, raised by 2,485 supporters thus far, has far surpassed the original goal of $20,000. According to the crowdfunding site LaunchGood, the campaign reached its original $20,000 goal within three hours of launching. The additional proceeds will be used to assist other vandalized Jewish centers nationwide, organizers say.
The campaign reads:
Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery. We also extend our deepest condolences to all those who have been affected and to the Jewish community at large. ...
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.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens called it a “senseless act of desecration.”
This is not the first incident that has targeted those in the Jewish community. The FBI and the Justice Department are expected to investigate multiple bomb threats against some 60 Jewish centers, which include 11 threats made on Monday alone, ABC notes.
Read more at ABC News.