By Adam Brown
Rabat – Just one week after polls closed, concerned American Muslim and Jewish leaders have joined together to create the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council (MJAC).
The Islamic Society of North America and the American Jewish Committee have created a joint council to address issues that have arisen over recent years and became a focal point during the recent election campaign. A recent Upworthy article states that, “The council includes representatives from the worlds of business, politics, and faith.” The council has also crossed the political divide, receiving the endorsements of former Senators Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut) and Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota).
The primary function of the council will be to address issues affecting both the Jewish and Muslim communities. To that end, it has created a three-part mission in, “Combatting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, celebrating the contributions of Jews and Muslims to American civic life, and pushing for expanded rights for religious and ethnic minorities,” according to Upworthy. The announcement of this bi-partisan council comes at a pivotal time in the U.S. political sphere, where many are feeling that their beliefs and fundamental identities are at risk. Given the sharp increase in the reports of hate crimes just since the election of Donald Trump to the office of President, these fears certainly appear to be well founded.
Overall, an FBI report reveals that 5,850 hate crime incidents were reported in 2015, a 6.8% increase from 2014. Anti-Jewish crimes rose 9% and anti-Muslim crimes grew 67%. On top of this general trend, recent reports have shown at least 300 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation since Election Day.
Current and future choices made by President-Elect Trump for cabinet and advisory positions are justifiably causing for fear among minority groups. Upworthy also reports that his recent choice of Stephen Bannon, “A far-right publisher whose website has traded in anti-Semitic and anti-Islamic rhetoric,” has continued to raise concerns and fears.