US Jewish-Muslim Bond Strengthened by Interfaith Activities

“We are the Same”, say Jewish and Arab youth. U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The status of Jerusalem is the main thorn in the flesh.

The results of a pioneer study conducted by Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) shows that gaps between Muslim Americans and Jewish Americans are much smaller than previously anticipated. It varies from one person to another at a granular level and the more devout a person, the closer that person aligned with the other religion. The sole point of contention is whether Jerusalem should be Israel's capital or not. The study was conducted online by PSB Research as per the direction of FFEU. A total of 1,000 respondents were present. There were 500 American Muslims and 500 American Jews. Both self-identified themselves with their respective religions. The survey was conducted from January 9-24 2018. Ory Capital Partners sponsored the initiative.

The poll conducted by the FFEU revealed 65 percent of Muslims and 54 percent of Jews responded that Islam and Judaism are much more similar than different. The Jews who had more exposure to Muslims hold the view that Islam is an inclusive religion. They believe Islam is much more progressive compared to Jews who do not interact with Muslims much. Mosque and synagogue “twinning” schemes are run by the FFEU and several other interfaith activities for Muslims and Jews.

Both communities in the United States admit there exists an anti-Muslim sentiment within the Jewish community in the United States. 55 percent of the Jewish respondents said there are “some” and about nine percent admitting to a substantial anti-Muslim sentiment among the Jews. In comparison, 44 percent of the respondent Muslims said there is some and about 17 percent said a substantial amount. 63 percent of the Jewish American respondents and 65 percent of the Muslim Americans consented that it is vital for these two groups to work in tandem so that discrimination does not occur.

When it comes to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, about 48 percent of the Muslims and 44 percent of the Jews said that it is quite possible to reach a mutually agreed and peaceful solution. 21 percent of the Muslims and 39 percent of the Jews responded that a peaceful solution is an impossible one. If the statistics are to be believed, the possibility of a peaceful solution increases if Muslims and Jews are more in contact.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter