Poll: American Jews, Muslims share values

A new Gallup poll, released Aug. 2, found that 81 percent of Muslim Americans  support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with 78 percent of Jewish Americans in support.

The poll revealed that Muslim and Jewish Americans share common values on key questions. For example, Jews and Muslims were the only religious groups surveyed in which a majority backed President Barack Obama.

The poll showed that 70 percent of Jewish Americans deny that Muslim Americans sympathize with the al-Qaeda terrorist group and 80 percent agree that Muslims are loyal to the United States.

In addition, the poll showed, 89 percent of Muslim Americans say there is never a justification for attacks on civilians, compared to 75 percent of Jewish Americans (and 79 percent of Mormon Americans and 71 percent of Protestant and Catholic Americans).

On another topic, 72 percent of Muslim Americans say they sufficiently vocal in condemning terror, but 65 percent of Jewish Americans said that Muslims were not vocal enough — perhaps suggesting that U.S. Muslims have not found appropriate outlets to make themselves  heard.

Interestingly, Jewish respondents were slightly more likely than Muslims to believe that Muslims face prejudice in American society.

The poll included results from a Gallup poll and two independent studies of the Muslim American population, all conducted in either 2010 or 2011. According to researchers, the poll had a margin of error of 6.6 percent for Muslims and 7.3 percent for Jews.

“People will be overwhelmed by these findings,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding. “The perception is that the Muslim Jewish relationship in the U.S. is one of conflict, not of cooperation. This is just the opposite of what we’ve found in the field.” — jta