“Reach out to your Jewish brothers and sisters and stand together against the bigotry”

The Southern Poverty Law Center calls it “a national outbreak of hate.” The 10 days following the presidential election saw 867 reports of harassment and intimidation across the country, with the actual number of incidents likely to be much higher. Victims have been harassed at schools, in their homes, at work, in public transportation, in grocery stores, and in houses of worship, often with the perpetrators shouting out Trump’s name. Victims include immigrants, African Americans, Muslims, Jews, members of the LGBT population, and women. But Jewish people have experienced the biggest spike in incidents, with some 100 anti-Semitic reports recorded in the 10 days after the election.

Incidents involving swastikas, anti-Semitic remarks, bomb threats, and vandalism continue to be reported across the country. Hate crimes against Jews have more than doubled in New York City since the start of the new year compared to the same period in 2016.

A Jewish cemetery in a St. Louis suburb was vandalized February 20 with vandals toppling and damaging more than 100 headstones. Workers spent the following day using cranes to upright some stones and documenting which memorials need to be replaced or repaired. Muslim Americans have played a huge role in the repair efforts. The campaign “Muslims United to Repair Jewish Cemetary” intended to raise $20,000 but has raised more than $155,000. The additional funds, according to the campaign, would be used to assist other vandalized Jewish centers nationwide.

No one could have predicted those funds would be used the following week. When Tarek El-Messidi, a Muslim activist who helped organize the fundraiser, read the news of yet another vandalized Jewish cemetery, he drove to the site, which was just miles from his Philadelphia home.

“Seeing this in person was very devastating,” El-Messidi said in a Facebook post. “Many people there were embracing one another in tears due to what they saw. I want to ask all Muslims to reach out to your Jewish brothers and sisters and stand together against the bigotry.”

At a time when Muslims are also targets of hate speech and crime—and targets of this administration’s travel ban—this story is especially poignant. Learn more in this Washington Post article.

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