“How can this be happening in America? How can people like these be in charge of our country? If I didn’t see it with my own eyes, I’d think I was having a hallucination.” Again and again, Philip Roth’s 2004 novel, “The Plot Against America,” has provided a depressingly prescient insight into what is to come over the next four years.

It has been awful to see Jewish community centers in state after state suffer through wave after wave of bomb threats, totaling over one hundred since January. It has been awful to not only see this trend affect my hometown of Rockville, Maryland but also to hear my grandparents over break mention — nonchalantly — that they cannot go to the gym regularly because they need to work around the bomb threats. As awful as all of this has been, the desecration of Jewish cemeteries as of late represents an even greater evil, while simultaneously highlighting the necessity of solidarity between Muslim and Jewish communities.

To focus on cemeteries specifically is not in any way to attempt to minimize or dismiss the active and ongoing threat to Jewish communities across the United States; JCC bomb scares present a challenge to the safety, livelihood and comfort of American Jewish congregations that cannot go on. Rather, it is to highlight that the desecration of a cemetery is not only an act of disruption but also one of erasure.

It is a denial of centuries of Jewish contribution to the fabric of American society — a uniquely despicable act, for its victims have no way to respond. In a March 2 Haaretz article biblical scholar Beth Kissileff acknowledges that “the familiarity and comfort of being in a Jewish cemetery feels contaminated and broken, along with the shattered stones toppled on the ground,” and that the efforts by past generations of American Jews to make a better and safer life for American Jewry today have been undermined.

But it is still unclear exactly how to move forward. Jay Michaelson of the Forward notes in a March 1 article, “We don’t yet know who is committing these crimes … whether these threats and attacks represent a return of mass anti-semitism … or simply the emboldening of a tiny group.” Therefore, the impetus on our community is to maintain vigilance as we learn more about who and what is behind these attacks. And in the meantime, the best thing that the American Jewish community can do in light of these attacks is embrace our common cause with American Muslims.

In a Feb. 27 Atlantic article, Tarek El Messidi, a Muslim activist, reflects that “the silver lining in … this kind of eco-system of hate is that both communities are reaching out.” The benefits of this approach ought be obvious, but are worth explicating nonetheless.

The solace and solidarity of this relationship helps prevent feelings of isolation, feelings which are all too common when minority communities become the victim of hate crimes. Therefore, Jewish-Muslim solidarity — an embrace of American multiculturalism — functions as the perfect response to these horrific acts of erasure. Beyond the symbolism, this relationship carries enormous tangible benefits, some of which have already begun to materialize. On Feb. 22, Tara Golshan of Vox reported that following the desecration of Jewish headstones in a suburb of St. Louis, Messidi and other activists put together a fundraising campaign that raised over $50,000.

Moreover, according to a March 2 BBC article, many Muslims, including military servicemen, lawyers and award-winning television broadcasters, have begun to offer protection services for Jewish sites in light of the recent wave of bomb threats. Such support is phenomenal, and the American Jewish community ought to actively work with Muslims across the country to ensure that their own places of worship are also safe and secure.

Furthermore, partnership between Jewish and Muslim communities in America provides a new and powerful interface for political activism. As stated in the same Atlantic article, the solidarity between Jews and Muslims suggests that there is currently a willingness among the most progressive leaders to set their differences aside and unite to support one another. This alliance is particularly important given that a variety of figures on the right, including Donald Trump, have taken to dismissing the spate of anti-Semitic hate crimes as self-victimization, with Trump having himself claimed that "someone's doing it to make others look bad," according to a Feb. 28 Haaretz article. This is enormously harmful, as David Schraub of Haaretz, writes: “when Donald suggests that … Jews cry anti-Semitism … to discredit him … the effect is to render Jews a little more suspicious, a little more alien, a little less trustworthy, and a little less worthy of our solidarity and support.” Such statements by Trump thus contribute to the sentiment, which is sadly already so politically potent, that Jews cannot be trusted because they don’t have America’s interests at heart.

The way to combat this dismissiveness and delegitimization is to stand with the American Muslim community, and with other marginalized groups as well: patriotism is at its best when it is intersectional. Demonstrating that Jews and Muslims today are Americans, and see each other as such, does not just provide beautiful imagery — it is a powerful organizing tool.