Pluralism: Shared Value for American Jews and Muslims

Something surprising emerged from a newly released Gallup poll of American Jews and Muslims.  The two groups happen to share a number of common values, among them the importance of religious pluralism. In fact, Muslim Americans exceeded Jewish belief in religious pluralism — 81 percent for Muslims, 78 percent for Jews.

I have a theory that might help to explain these surprising results: Both Jewish and Moslem Americans are minorities who know what it’s like to balance identities.  They are able to maintain a religious and historical connection to their homeland, even in the face of a deep loyalty to America.  And they express this as a strong belief in the principles of pluralism.

This is a concept that can be difficult for Israelis to grasp, as they fight for their survival in a hostile neighborhood. But it’s one we all need to champion as central to our increasingly global future.

— Jay Ruderman


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