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Juliette Kayyem,  assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs in the United States Department of Homeland Security, often writes op-eds for the Boston Globe. Her piece today is on new polling by the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies and the Abu Dhabi Gallup Center. An interesting finding of the poll is that among different religious groups in the United States, American Jews are more likely to see Muslim Americans as loyal to the United States.

“Jewish Americans are much more likely than any other non-Muslim faith to see US Muslims as loyal. Eighty percent of Jewish Americans have trust in Muslim Americans as Americans. (Only 56 percent of Protestants and Mormons said the same.) Muslims and Jews are the most likely to believe that Muslim Americans have no sympathy for Al Qaeda.”

Kayyem sees common ground here, and she moves on to what William Brandeis said in 1905  as the first Jew named to the Supreme Court. His paper “What Loyalty Demands,” she opines, is a powerful argument for the belief that adherence to one’s own religious values is “the greatest form of fidelity to America.”

Read the article here.

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When my daughter-in-law was about to be a mom and present me with my first grandchild,

her sisters gave her a lovely baby shower.

A couple of the women I spoke to there told me about a book group they enjoyed called Daughters of Abraham, located in a number of towns. As the organization’s website says, they are “a group of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim women who want to deepen our knowledge of our own and one another’s faiths. By reading books that teach us about each other’s faith traditions and learning about the practice of our respective faiths, we hope to increase our respect for all the Abrahamic religions. We are committed to building relationships among us.” They find that reading books and sharing the perspectives and insights from their different backgrounds is rewarding and fun.

One of the women had gone on to found a nonprofit that does something similar for the children of the three traditions. “Kids 4 Peace Boston is an interfaith, nonpolitical organization of Jews, Christians, and Muslims that fosters friendship, understanding, and respect among children and families in the Boston area, and hosts children [of our three faiths from Jerusalem] in a summer program. … Kids4Peace Boston practices hospitality — a shared value of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  We strive to create a place where faith and friendship thrive.”

I have been trying to interest the religious education director at my church to bring in the woman I met at the baby shower to talk about the Kids 4 Peace program.

Please send comments to suzannesmom@lunaandstella.com. Suzanne is the founder of the birthstone jewelry company Luna & Stella. She asked me to do a blog and write about anything I felt like writing about, which is exactly what I have been doing. Thanks for visiting.

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