Sputnik: A recent study has indicated that Muslims could become the second largest religious group in the US by 2040; what are your thoughts about it?
Abraham Cooper: Every single year since 1992, when the FBI first started keeping hate crime statistics, the number one [target] of race-based-hate in the United States has been African Americans and the number one target of religion-based-hate has been members of the religious Jewish community, not Muslims.
I wish that someday soon we would no longer be number one but this has been a part of our society; that's just a reality. We certainly recognize that there is Islamophobia and racism, which is part of every society, including America's.
In so far as the projection of numbers, I think it is certainly true that there has been an increase in the number of Muslims in the US, mostly attributable to immigration and the birthrate.
In the American Jewish community, you have generally a lower birthrate, except in the Orthodox circles which actually have also quite a high birth rate.
[…]Like every other minority group or group set to come to the US, American Muslims will be more integrated into the social and political process, although it would be a huge mistake to simply put all American Muslims into one basket.
I don't think it's particularly huge area of concern for the American Jewish community, and I think our focus has to be on maintaining and growing our self-awareness in the community as well as promoting our Jewish values and continuing to contribute to the general American society and American social and political culture.
Sputnik: How can US President Donald Trump' stance on migration policies impact the study's forecast?
Abraham Cooper: […] The most overriding concern is whether Congress along with President [Donald Trump] will be able to sort of get a hold of illegal migration. I think you still have a strong base in the US that absolutely favors illegal migration and it's especially true in the American Jewish community.
[…] If the issue isn't resolved, then the whole immigration question from the Middle East and South America will continue to rile American social and political discourse.
The views and opinions expressed by Abraham Cooper are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik’s position.