As Muslim Americans are beseeched by Islamophobic attacks, they also managed to help raise more than US$100,000 to repair vandalized headstones at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri, according to an online fundraising page, amid attacks and threats against Jewish institutions.
“Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration,” the fundraisers said on their website.
More than 3,600 people donated US$103,257 by Wednesday night. Cemetery staff declined to comment on the fundraising.
The campaign was launched by Muslim-American activist Linda Sarsour of the grassroots civil rights MPower Change group and Tarek El-Messidi of the non-profit Celebrate Mercy organization.
“Campaign proceeds will go directly to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in light of the recent damage. Any remaining funds — after the cemetery is restored — will be allocated to repair any other vandalized Jewish centers,” the two wrote.
Sarsour was one of the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington on Jan. 21, the day after Trump’s inauguration.
About 170 headstones were toppled or damaged at the century-old Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery over the weekend, according to cemetery staff.
Some Jewish groups described the vandalism and threats as the latest evidence that anti-Semitic groups have been emboldened by the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president. His campaign last year drew the support of white nationalists and right-wing groups.
In recent weeks, Jewish community centers across the United States have reported a surge in bomb threats, all of which have so far proved to be hoaxes.
After weeks of not condemning the threats on the Jewish community, Trump finally did so Tuesday, labeling the threats as anti-Semitism for the first time.
“The anti-Semitic threats targeting our Jewish community and community centers are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil,” Trump told reporters.
The Muslim community has also reported a sharp increase in threats since Trump’s presidential victory in November as white supremacist groups also target them.
Late last month, six people were killed in an attack by white supremacist and Trump fan Alexandre Bissonnette after he attacked a mosque in the Canadian city of Quebec.