Muslims raise thousands to repair Jewish cemetery in St Louis


Muslims have raised tens of thousands of dollars to repair a Jewish cemetery, which was vandalised this week.  

The campaign was launched after news that more than 100 headstones had been damaged in the cemetery in St Louis, Missouri.

“Muslim-Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery,” said a message on the campaign website, which was set up by Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy.

The campaign surpassed its target of $20,000 (£16,000) in three hours and today had reached $57,000 (£45,700).

“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,” wrote the organisers. “We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community, which has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”

Over 2,000 people made contributions to the campaign on the website. The organisers said any extra funds after the St Louis cemetery had been repaired would go towards restoring other sites where antisemitic vandalism had taken place.

Meanwhile, the White House spokesman Sean Spicer defended President Donald Trump against accusations that he had not done enough to condemn antisemitism. 

On Tuesday Mr Trump responded to the attack on the St Louis cemetery and a spate of bomb threats against Jewish community centres across the country, saying they were “horrible” and a “painful and very sad reminder of the work that still must be done”.

However, the CEO of the Anne Frank Centre for Mutual Respect in New York said he needed to do more. “The president’s sudden acknowledgement is a band-aid on the cancer of antisemitism that has infected his own administration,” wrote Mr Goldstein.

Mr Spicer reacted irritably, saying in a press conference: “I wish they [the Anne Frank Centre] had praised the president for his leadership in this area”.



Mr Trump has frequently been criticised for failing to speak out about a spate of bomb threats against JCCs since the new year. Earlier this week Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League called his omission “mind boggling”. 

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