by KHALANI GARAY
Recently, hate crimes have been popping up all over the world. Just last week, a series of bomb threats and vandalism threatened Jewish communities, schools, and cemeteries. At least a dozen headstones were toppled at a Jewish cemetery at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester, New York following similar events in St. Louis and Philadelphia.
In late February, at least one hundred seventy-five headstones were damaged at another Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. Just recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he will launch a statewide investigation of the vandalism at the Waad Hakolel Cemetery in Rochester, New York. That includes the overall crime rise targeting the Jewish organizations throughout the state.
Members of the Muslim community in St. Louis have now begun a fundraising effort to help pay for the toppled headstones that need to be repaired. Since the beginning of 2017, four mosques have gone up in flames, according to the Council of American-Islamic Relations. They have also documented one hundred thirty-nine incidents of “damage/destruction/vandalism” at mosques in 2016.
The most since record-keeping having started in 2009. Authorities have now determined that the tombstones destroyed were not part of the vandalism reports that took place. The tombstones were said to be damaged by environmental causes such as soil erosion and a lack of maintenance.