Muslim-backed fundraiser to repair Jewish cemetery reaches goal in three hours

  • Cox Media Group National Content Desk
11:37 p.m Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 National/World News
Spencer Pensoneau, center, and Ron Klump of Rosenbloom Monument Company re-set stones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, mMo., on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017 where almost 200 gravestones were vandalized over the weekend. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

A fundraiser to help pay to repair a desecrated Jewish cemetery exceeded their fundraising goal Tuesday evening.

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On Sunday, vandals damaged or tipped over as many as 200 headstones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in suburban St. Louis.

According to The Hill, the online Muslim crowd-funding platform LaunchGood, reached it's goal of $20,000 in just three hours.

The campaign was created by Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi according to the Washington Post

El-Messidi told the Washington Post that he was inspired to help based on a historical account of the chief prophet and central figure of the Islamist religion, Muhammad. In the story, Muhammad stood as a sign of respect when a funeral for a Jew passed by. When questioned why he stood, he replied “Is it not a human soul?”

The campaign has spread quickly on social media and by late Tuesday donations exceeded $40,000.

The project will send any additional funds raised to other vandalized Jewish centers nationwide, according to LaunchGood.

The Associated Press contributed to this report