An appeal to a shared concern to unify against anti-Semitic and Islamphobic violence.
By Ilhan Omar and Jan Schakowsky | CNN | May 14, 2019
White nationalists win when our two communities are divided.
Just over two weeks ago, we watched in horror after a man walked into Chabad of Poway synagogue in California and opened fire on worshippers, killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye and injuring three others. The attack on the synagogue took place on Shabbat, the holiest day of the week, and Acharon Shel Pesach — the final day of Passover.
As information about the attack came in, we learned more shocking details. The same terrorist who attacked the Chabad Synagogue allegedly set fire to a nearby mosque, Dar-ul-Arqam, just weeks earlier. Evidence also suggests that the suspected Poway shooter was inspired by the Christchurch mosque massacre in New Zealand, which took the lives of 50 Muslim worshippers in New Zealand in March.
As a Muslim American and a Jewish American elected to the United States Congress, we can no longer sit silently as terror strikes our communities. We cannot allow those who seek to divide and intimidate us to succeed. Whatever our differences, our two communities, Muslim and Jewish, must come together to confront the twin evils of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic violence.
The evidence that violence against both our communities is on the rise is overwhelming. Anti-Semitic assaults in the US more than doubled in 2018 compared to the year before, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The organization also tallied a total of 1,879 incidents of assault, vandalism and harassment against Jews and Jewish institutions last year, marking the third-highest year on record since the ADL started keeping track in 1979.