OHIO – Shared discrimination in the American society against both religious groups is bringing Muslims and Jews together in central Ohio, uniting people of all faiths against hate, NBC4i reported on October 31.
“An attack against one of us is an attack against us all. The thought crosses my mind that someone could walk in and kill us. That crosses my mind every single time I go to the mosque,” expressed Usjid Hameed of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
“When you have people of the Jewish faith targeted and attacked we recognize that it’s our job as American Muslims to speak up and stand with them side by side,” he said.
Putting differences aside to put faith in each other. The Muslim organizations across the US have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for families of shooting victims in Pittsburgh.
On October 27, a mass shooting has occurred at Pittsburgh synagogue in Pennsylvania while Shabbat morning services and a bris were being held.
Eleven people were killed, and seven were injured. The sole suspect, 46-year-old Robert Gregory Bowers, was arrested and charged with 29 federal crimes and 36 state crimes. The shooting was the deadliest attack on the American Jewish community.
One of the Muslim demonstrators on Wednesday, Mahmoud El-Yousseph, said: “I have to really show respect because if they target Jews today…tomorrow who knows who it is going to be. We have to speak up.”
American Judaism & Islam
Judaism is the 2nd largest religion in the US, practiced by 2.1% of the population, followed by Islam with 0.8%. American hosts between 5.3 and 6.6 million Jews. Jews have been present in what is now the US since the 17th century. Approximately 25% of American Jews live in New York City.
The American Jewish community is composed predominantly of Ashkenazi Jews from Central and Eastern Europe. Yet, there are small numbers of Sephardi Jews from Iberia and North Africa.
Moreover, there are Mizrahi Jews from the Middle East, Caucasus, and Central Asia, as well as much smaller numbers of Ethiopian Jews, Indian Jews, Kaifeng Asian Jews and others from various smaller Jewish cultural backgrounds.
On the other hand, Islam in America effectively began with the arrival of African slaves. It’s estimated that about 10% of African slaves transported to the US were Muslim. Most, however, became Christians.
Even though, in 1940s, Islam gained a higher profile through the Nation of Islam, a religious group that appealed to African Americans. The Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan, is the largest mosque in the US.