Jewish Americans are least Islamophobic faith group, survey finds
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Jewish Americans are least Islamophobic faith group, survey finds

2019 American Muslim Poll shows that more than half of the American Jews have a 'positive' view of their Abrahamic brothers and sisters

Samina Mohamedali, left, and her husband Kutub Ganiwalla, members of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, both of North Hills, prepare to place flowers on a memorial in front of the Tree of Life Congregation, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)
Samina Mohamedali, left, and her husband Kutub Ganiwalla, members of the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community, both of North Hills, prepare to place flowers on a memorial in front of the Tree of Life Congregation, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018, in Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. (Alexandra Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

A majority of Jewish Americans have positive feelings about Muslims – and the feelings are mutual — according to a survey released Wednesday.

The 2019 American Muslim Poll, conducted in January, found that 53 percent of Jewish Americans reported having positive views of Muslims — the highest of any non-Muslim faith group surveyed — compared to 13 percent with negative views. The same percentage of Jews reported that a candidate’s endorsement of a Muslim ban would decrease their support for that individual.

Likewise, 45 percent of the Muslim-American respondents had favourable views of Jews, while just 10 percent reported having negative views. The remaining respondents were neutral.

Personally knowing a Muslim may contribute to the positive sentiments: 76 percent of Jewish-American respondents said they knew a Muslim, compared to 54 percent of the general public, and 45 percent of the Jews said they are close enough with a Muslim that they would call them if they needed help.

Among white evangelicals, as many as 44 percent held unfavourable opinions about Muslims, more than double those with favourable views, 20 percent.

The poll was commissioned by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a research and advocacy organization for Muslim Americans. Among the 2,376 respondents were 804 who identified as Muslim and 360 as Jewish.

The margin of error was 3.6 percent, but higher for Jews and Muslims: 7.6 percent for the former and 4.9 percent for the latter.

£30m ($40 million) Nazi-looted painting belongs to Spanish museum, not heirs of Jewish owner, US judge rules

A federal judge in Los Angeles ruled that a Nazi-looted painting belongs to the Spanish museum that acquired it in 1992 and not the heirs of the Jewish woman who sold it before fleeing the Holocaust.

The painting, “Rue St.-Honoure, Apres-Midi, Effet de Pluie” by Camille Pissarro, is on display at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Walter ruled that under Spanish law, the painting legally belongs to the museum since the museum foundation did not know the work was looted, though he criticised Spain’s decision to keep it.

The painting is valued at £30m( $40 million).

In 2005, Lily Cassirer’s grandson Claude sued for restitution of the painting, which his German-born grandmother sold in 1939 to an art dealer for the equivalent of £276 ($360) as she was fleeing her homeland from the Nazis. Cassirer’s father-in-law, Julius, had purchased the painting from the painter.

The painting was acquired by Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza in 1976 and has been displayed in Madrid since the museum opened in late 1992, after the baron gave his collection to the Spanish government. He died in 2002. The painting was insured for over £7.67m ($10 million).

Cassirer reportedly did not know the artwork was still in existence when she accepted a reparations payment of £9976 ($13,000) for the painting from the German government in 1958. She did not waive her rights to the art.

The case has been appealed twice and sent back to the district court. The judge said in his decision that another appeal is possible, The Associated Press reported.

Man harasses and lunges at Chabad rabbi in NY

Rabbi Uriel Vigler was heading to morning prayers on Tuesday as he does every day on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, just before 7 a.m., when a man began shouting antisemitic insults at him.

Vigler said the man called him a “f***ing Jew.”

“Instinctively, I moved away,” he told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “I moved to the other side of the street, and he follows me and he said, ‘Are you nervous, are you scared?’”

As Vigler neared the synagogue, he said the man lunged at him. When the assailant noticed the congregation’s security guard, he turned around and called the rabbi “the devil.” The rabbi recorded the end of the incident and shared the video on Facebook.

Though the man did not harm Vigler, the rabbi believes that if the security guard had not been present, the assailant would have physically attacked him. Vigler has filed a report with the New York Police Department but has yet to hear back.

The incident comes just days after a shooter attacked a Chabad synagogue in Poway, California, killing one and wounding three.

Vigler, who leads the Chabad Israel Centre on the Upper East Side along with his wife, Shevy, said he would not let the incident deter him from doing his work.

“We are not afraid,” he said. “We are going to continue our mission to spread goodness and kindness in the world, to reach out to Jews with unconditional love.”

 

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