Why Jews are coming to the defense of mosques in America

Christian Science Monitor reports: When Sheryl Olitzky first broached the subject of a Jewish-Muslim women’s group, Atiya Aftab didn’t buy it.

“Why is someone calling me because I’m Muslim?” Ms. Aftab recalls thinking. “This is creepy.”

But as Ms. Olitzky made her case over lattes at a Starbucks in suburban New Jersey, Aftab found herself drawn in.

“This is a woman extending her hand to me, saying, ‘I want to get to know you. I want to be your protector. I want to have your back because I know what you’re going through, because of what the Jewish community has been through,’ ” says Aftab, a professor at Rutgers University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. “That was so compelling, so honest.”

After that meeting in 2010, the two women launched the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom – then just a casual gathering of local Muslim and Jewish women talking about faith and family, and sharing their experiences as religious minorities in America. Today, the group has chapters in more than 50 cities. [Continue reading…]

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