Thursday, February 23, 2017

Muslim Fundraiser to Repair Desecrated Jewish Cemetery Nets Over $120,000

Amidst a rash of hundreds of bomb threats to Jewish, many to  community centers, and widespread threats anti-Semitic violence a Jewish cemetery was severely vandalized.

180 gravestones were toppled and broken at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery just outside of St. Louis, Missouri over the weekend stunning the community.

After witnessing the wreckage Linda Sarsour of "MPower Change" and Tarek El-Messidi of "Celebrate Mercy" set up an online fundraiser at The LaunchGood.com encouraging Muslims to donate to repair vandalism.

Click image to go to fundraising page

In just over 36 hours the fundraiser netted over $120,000.

Sarsour said on MSNBC Wednesday that she...

"People in a cemetery should be able to rest in peace. Expected nothing less from my community, who has always been a generous community."

El-Messidi, whose Philadelphia-based organization Celebrate Mercy creates interactive webcasts and videos that teach about the Prophet Muhammad, told NBC News...

"One of the silver linings of all this divisiveness and hate rhetoric has been the two communities coming together. Historically, we did not work together. People are putting their politics aside and working to fight bigotry together."

El-Messidi says the fundraiser isn't just bringing in donations but that over 100 messages have been received through the webpage as well many from American Jews moved by the Muslim community's support.

After Vice President Mike Pence condemned the act of vandalism El-Messidi, when asked, noted that while both Pence and Trump had spoken out against antisemitism this week, neither has issued a single remark condemning the rise of anti-Muslim hate groups or the increase of violent attacks and threats against the American Muslim community.

El-Messidi went on to say that the Trump administration appears to mistakenly conflate radical Islamist terror groups like ISIS with peaceful American Muslims and that such a comparison leads to more hate...

"We are tired of being grouped along with the crazies, they scare us just as much as any American,"

Sarsour and El-Messidi's fundraiser will remain open for donations until March 21s and that any funds raised beyond the needs of Chesed Shel Emeth Society "will be used to support the growing security needs of the Jewish community."

No suspects have been identified in the crime.

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