Last week, Muslim Americans raised over $108,000 to help repair a damaged Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. Now, they’re coming together again in Philly, which saw enormous overnight destruction at the Jewish Mount Carmel Cemetery. Police consider this an act of vandalism, although the number of destroyed headstones appears to be in dispute. The local ABC outlet places the number at over 500 stones (some of them over a century old) toppled in the attack. Meanwhile, NBC Philly spoke to a rabbi who counted 460 damaged headstones, and police are saying “at least 100” were vandalized.
The bleak discovery was made by a New Jersey resident, Aaron Mallin, who arrived to visit his father’s grave on Sunday. He labeled the destruction as “very disheartening.” Within a few hours, local members of the Muslim community arrived at the cemetery to help begin repair work and denounce yet another attack on the Jewish community.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community issued a lengthy statement to condemn the recent wave of attacks on Jewish cemeteries.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has labeled the attack as a “cowardly, disturbing act.” He also vowed to hold the perpetrators responsible. In addition, the Anne Frank Center issued the briefest of statements: “WE ARE SICKENED, SICKENED, SICKENED.”
Following last week’s cemetery desecration in Missouri, the Anne Frank Center criticized Donald Trump’s “Band-Aid” statement as “a pathetic asterisk of condescension.” This was a response to Trump’s delayed reaction to waves of anti-Semitic violence and threats across the United States. He also angrily confronted a Jewish reporter who asked him how he would deter these threats, and the president has been criticized for stocking his cabinet with a key member who has promoted anti-Semitic sentiments online.