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Rabbi denounces anti-Muslim hate in the Quad Cities

A yard sign in the Quad Cities.
A yard sign in the Quad Cities.

A rabbi in the Quad Cities is calling for residents to support their Muslim neighbors.

Rabbi Linda Bertenthal, along with two other Jewish leaders, released a statement this week denouncing anti-Muslim hate.

Bertenthal says she was told about two Muslim families in the Quad Cities who were threatened recently.

"A Muslim family, identifiably Muslim, because the mother wears hijab, who someone came onto their property and completely demolished their childrens play structure."

"And the second was another Muslim woman was on an outing with her small child. When she came back to her car, where she had parked it, someone had placed on their car a doll that was mutilated."

The interfaith sentiment comes as tensions rise in the U.S. after a month of heavy Israeli bombing in Gaza, where Hamas is holding over two hundred hostages.

Bertenthal says many people in the Quad Cities are afraid and grieving. But no one should be targeted for their race or ethnicity.

"It seems to me that in our community, we're just simply better than that, that that's something that we don't allow, we don't allow hate crimes against anyone."

"It's, I think, incumbent on the rest of the community to speak up for our Muslim brothers and sisters when they are targeted," she said. "It's not upon them to speak up for themselves, it's upon all of us to say no, that's not acceptable."

She invites everyone to "stand against all acts of hate."

Rachel graduated from Michigan State University's J-School and has a background in broadcast and environmental journalism. Before WVIK, she worked for WKAR Public Media, Great Lakes Now, and more. In her free time, she likes to cook, hike, and hang out with her cat.