U.S. people agree: Discrimination against Jews and Muslims is up

The Israel-Hamas war has polarized people in the U.S. and pushed those who feel it is unsafe to state their position to the sidelines of silence.

However, a Pew Research Center study on free seech and discrimination against Jews and Muslims released April 2 shows that we agree on a lot of things when it comes to free speech and discrimination. While people have been criticized, fired or demonized for expressing opinions about the war, most of the 12,693 U.S. adults Pew surveyed said some expressions should be allowed:

    • 70% said expressing support for “Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state” should be allowed.
    • 58% said expressing opposition to Israel’s right to exist should be allowed.
    • 66% said speech supporting “Palestinians having their own state” should be allowed.
    • 61% said speech opposing a Palestinian state should be allowed.

    Many people drew the line at calls for violence. About three-quarters of respondents said speech supporting violence against either Muslims or Jews should not be allowed.

    Pew chart shows feelings about rising discrimination against Jews and Muslims.

    U.S. people see rising discrimination against Jews and Muslims.

    Pew found other points of accord. Respondents agreed discrimination against Jews and Muslims has been rising, especially since the war began in October.

    Some 89% of Jewish respondents said they have seen a rise in discrimination against Jews since the start of the war. About 70% of Muslim respondents said discrimination against Muslims has risen since the start of the war.

    As for breaks in communication, 26% of Jews and 27% of Muslims surveyed say they have stopped talking to someone in person – or unfollowed or blocked someone – because of something that person said about the war.

  • The Pew report goes deeper on several related aspects of discriminati0n and free speech.
  • Bias Busters guides available on Amazon answer questions about American Jews and Muslims and addressed some stereotypes.“100 Questions and Answers About American Jews”“100 Questions and Answers About Muslim Americans”
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