NEW YORK – The more Muslims and Jews interact with each other, the more they become aware of their faiths’ similarities, a study conducted by the Foundation of Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) in New York found.
The FFEU discovered that Jews who frequently deal with Muslims believe “Islam is more inclusive and modern,” than those Jews who rarely interact with Muslims.
The American NGO, FFEU, which was founded in 1989, runs synagogue and mosque “twinning” programs and other interfaith activities for American Muslims and Jews.
On behalf of FFEU, the Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) research and strategic consulting firm conducted a national online survey last January in the US on 1,000 participants with 50% Muslims and 50% Jews.
That PSB study, sponsored by Ory Capital Partners and published on March 21, showed that the gaps between American Muslims and Jews were smaller than previously thought and that the more devout the person was, the closer they aligned with the other religion.
Noticeably, the research found that the issues with the most dramatic disagreement between both religious groups are political topics and not faith-related ones.
Islam is the third largest religion in the US after Christianity and Judaism. According to a 2010 study, it’s followed by 0.9% of the population compared to 1.9% who adhere to Judaism.
In 2012, Jews in the US were estimated between 5.5 and 8 million, which constitutes between 1.7% and 2.6% of the American population.
According to 2016 estimates, there were 3.3 million Muslims in the US representing 1% of the total population.