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American Muslims raise money to repair vandalized Jewish cemetery

They've already exceeded their goal threefold.


Jessica Machado


Posted on Feb 22, 2017   Updated on May 24, 2021, 11:01 pm CDT

After a Jewish cemetery was vandalized this past weekend, with over 150 headstones overturned, two Muslim-Americans started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to repair the damages. 

Organizers Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy met their goal of $20,000 within three hours of launching their campaign yesterday. As of this posting, the pair has raised over $74,000 for Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery and are encouraging people to keep donating, with any leftover money going toward repairing other Jewish centers. 

“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,” the crowdfunding page reads. “We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”

Also over the long weekend, 11 Jewish Community Centers received bomb threats, the fourth such wave of threats since Donald Trump was elected president. Hate crimes against Muslims have been on the rise as well. Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and travel ban, targeting seven Muslim-majority countries, hasn’t alleviated tensions within the country, either.  

“This is really a human issue,” El-Messidi said of the hate crimes to the Washington Post. “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.”

After staying silent on the matter, the president spoke out about the Anti-Semitic crimes for the first time yesterday, telling MSNBC, “Anti-Semitism is horrible, and it’s going to stop and it has to stop.” 

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*First Published: Feb 22, 2017, 11:54 am CST