In the aftermath of the vandalism of a St. Louis Jewish cemetery, two Muslim activists have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise $20,000 for repairs.
Within a few hours of being posted last Tuesday, the LaunchingGood fundraising page created by Tarek El-Messidi and Linda Sarsour exceeded its $20,000 goal to cover the damages to a least 170 gravestones that were toppled over last weekend in Chesed Shel Emeth Society Cemetery.
“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,” El-Messedi and Sarsour wrote on their page. “We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”
Following the rise of hate crimes after this year’s presidential election, Messedi believes that both the Muslim and Jewish communities have been brought together in solidarity as a result of them both being targeted by such discrimination.
As his inspiration, El-Messedi cites the story of the prophet Muhammed, who stood up when a Jewish funeral procession passed, and when questioned, responded, “Is it not a human soul?”
El-Messedi also founded and leads a nonprofit organization, Celebrate Mercy, with the mission of both educating people about Muhammed’s teachings and also rallying Muslims to respond to evil with good. His previous efforts include launching a Muslim-led fundraiser that raised more than $215,000 for the victims of the San Bernardino terrorist attack in 2015.
Information from this article was taken from the Jerusalem Post and the Washington Post.