Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi
Holy God, I ask You to pour blessings upon Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi, and all the people who responded to their call to action. These two people acted quickly after a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis was desecrated, creating an online fundraiser to repair the damage and communicate support to the Jewish community.
In a time when hate crimes and religious discrimination are on the rise, and when Muslim communities and the religion of Islam have been targets of hateful rhetoric, it would be understandable if American Muslims were focused on their own difficulties. It would be understandable if the climate of fear made it harder to reach out to neighbors. And yet, these two particular American Muslims, and many others, are rallying around Jewish communities that have been threatened, harassed, and harmed. Perhaps they know that Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism are cut from the same vile cloth. Perhaps they know that dividing the population into separate groups taught to fear one another is a well-worn strategy for social control. But it appears--from the statements to the press and from the warm response of other Muslims--to be simply an outward expression of their faith. Raising money to repair a desecrated Jewish cemetery? That's what being Muslim looks like. These people make me hopeful, God, and increase my own faith. Please protect them and their loved ones; grant them peace and wisdom; let their lights burn bright so that the rest of us might see more clearly. Amen.