"Vandalized" is putting it very lightly.
The effort organized by Muslim American activists Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi was launched this week to fund the repairs of nearly 200 headstones that were damaged and toppled in the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in the St. Louis suburb of University City in Missouri.
The fundraiser exceeded its goal of $20,000 so fast, it has expanded into an effort to support Jewish community centers that have been targets of anti-Semitism.
The vandal or vandals destroyed more that 170 headstones at the cemetery, according Anita Feigenbaum, the cemetery's executive director.
Members of the community have been left rattled.
To be clear. 170 headstones in a Jewish cemetery were destroyed. The graves of the people's loved ones were desecrated, toppled, and broken. This happened at the same time as the fourth wave of coordinated bomb threats against multiple Jewish community organizations since the election of Lord Dampnut.
And while we white gentiles have sat around and done nothing about it, once again the Muslim community stepped up to help.
Sarsour of MPower Change and El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy organized the crowdfunding campaign to support the vandalized cemetery.
Their goal of reaching $20,000 by the end of March was surpassed in three hours, with donations at nearly $60,000 and rising early Wednesday.
It's really fucking sad that this needs to be pointed out again and again due to the fact that people so readily demonize the Muslim community in this country. But Islam is one of the most peaceful religions around and it very much emphasizes the importance of charity and taking care of one's neighbors. No matter who they are. And Muslims largely do a LOT better than white Christians when it comes to following the actual tenets of their religion.
Both the news of the attack (the terrorist attack, let's be real) against Jewish people and the help from the Muslim community need to be spread. Jewish communities are under severe threat (once again) from the rise of white supremacists and neo-nazis in the U.S. and abroad, and of course we know how Muslims are being treated right now. We need to protect both of these communities at all costs.