Saturday, March 04, 2017

Muslims offer to guard Jewish sites in US

Following the recent spate of bomb threats against Jewish community centres and the desecration of graves at cemeteries in Philadelphia and St. Louis, some Muslims have turned to social media to offer to guard Jewish sites.

The offers to protect religious sites have come from Muslims who include military servicemen, lawyers and Emmy Award-winning TV broadcasters.

The JCC Association of North America, a network of cultural centres, reported more than 100 bomb threats against Jewish centres in the first two months of 2017.

On Monday alone, the organisation said another 31 threats were made against Jewish centres including a gunshot fired through a Hebrew school window at an Indiana synagogue.
Viral solidarity

In a tweet, a former Muslim marine, Tayyib Rashid, pledged: "If your synagogue or Jewish cemetery needs someone to stand guard, count me in. Islam requires it."

Mr Rashid, known by his Twitter handle @MuslimMarine adds in his Periscope video that "I've seen a tremendous outpouring of love and support from all Americans, from Muslims, from my fellow Jewish Americans, from Christians, from atheists, from everyone".

The former Marine welcomes people to meet him in a local coffee shop in his home town in Grayslake, Chicago, in his "initiative to help promote peace between Muslims and non-Muslims".

He aims to open dialogue about "the recent atrocities committed by some hateful people" that were responsible for the "destruction and desecration of the graves of people of Jewish faith".

He adds: "I condemn that wholeheartedly and I stand in solidarity with all my Jewish citizens."


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