Muslims have raised thousands to help repair a vandalised Jewish cemetery

An American fundraising campaign has managed to exceed its target of $20,000 (£16,000) in just three hours.

But what was it raising money for? Well, the campaign is called “Muslims unite to repair Jewish cemetery.”

And it plans to do just that. Over the weekend vandals damaged over 170 headstones at the Chesed Shel Emeth Society cemetery in University City, Missouri, and any money raised will go towards repairs.

On Monday the White House denounced a string of threats against Jewish community centres.

The campaign says: “Muslim Americans stand in solidarity with the Jewish-American community to condemn this horrific act of desecration against the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.

“We also extend our deepest condolences to all those who have been affected and to the Jewish community at large.”

Organised by Linda Sarsour and Tarek El-Messidi, the campaign wants to raise funds to help rebuild the sacred space. Any remaining funds when the cemetery is restored will be given to help other vandalised Jewish centres.

And it looks like there will be a fair amount of money left over, judging by how well it did. In just three hours it reached its goal of $20,000, and at the time of writing it was at an impressive $56,222 (over £45,000).

Donald Trump recently denounced the rise in anti-Semitism in America, after increasing calls for him to speak up against it.

Governor of Missouri Eric Greitens is Jewish and condemned the attack, and called for volunteers to help clean it up. He wrote on Facebook: “One measure of a community’s strength is what we do in moments like this.

“We can choose to cower, or we can choose productive action and shared service. We can turn a vile act into a moment for resolve and a demonstration of our state’s faith.”

And the clean-up operation is already in action.

The campaign has a wider purpose than just the cemetery, saying: “We hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America.

“We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”

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