A prominent Muslim group just offered a reward to catch people targeting Jewish centers.

After a string of bomb threats that have rattled over five dozen Jewish community centers across America, a prominent Muslim advocacy and civil rights group is stepping up to help track down the culprits.

Council on American-Islamic Relations national executive director Nihad Awad. Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images.

In a statement posted to the group's Facebook page on Feb. 20, 2017, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the identification and conviction of those responsible.


"It is the duty of American Muslims to offer support to the Jewish community and any minority group targeted in the recent spike in hate crimes nationwide," CAIR's national executive director, Nihad Awad, said in the statement. "We hope this reward will aid in the swift apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrators."

Threats against Muslim and Jewish communities spiked after the 2016 election and continue to occur at an alarming rate across the country, according to reports from watchdog groups.

Over the weekend, nearly 200 headstones were vandalized at a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis, including those of Holocaust survivors.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the United States tripled in 2016.

The reward offer is the latest show of mutual support between the two communities, which have rallied together as threats against them and their congregations have surged.

Shortly after the election, the Islamic Society of North America and American Jewish Committee joined forces to create the Muslim-Jewish Advisory Council, an umbrella organization dedicated to combatting anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

The unity has become visible at protests around the country in recent weeks. In early February, 19 rabbis were arrested outside of Trump International Hotel in New York while protesting the Trump administration's executive order barring immigration from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Awad noted that American Muslims had received a "tremendous level of support" from the Jewish community and that his group was committed to returning the favor.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

For the millions of Americans facing unprecedented threats to their families, lives, and livelihoods, seeing people of all faiths and backgrounds standing against hate — and in solidarity — is a welcome sign.

For those millions, the past several months have been a uniquely dangerous time.

Until that danger passes, regardless of who we are, where we come from, or what we believe, we all need to have each others' backs.

More
Facebook / Mikhail Galin

Putting your pet in cargo during a flight isn't always safe. In 2016, the Department of Transportation reported a total of 26 pet deaths and 22 injuries on flights. Because conditions in cargo can be uncomfortable for animals, the Humane Society recommends taking your pet aboard when you fly, or just leaving it at home.

It's not surprising that one Russian man didn't want to put his overweight cat in cargo during an eight-hour flight from Moscow to Vladivostok. What is surprising is the great lengths he took to fly with his four-legged friend.

Russian airline Aeroflot allows pets to fly inside the plane's cabin, as long as the cat weighs under 17.6 pounds and stays in its carrier during the flight. When Mikhail Galin went to check in, he was told he couldn't fly with his four-year old cat, Viktor. Viktor weighed in at 22 pounds and would have to be relegated to cargo.

But Viktor was sick from their earlier flight from Riga, Latvia to Moscow. And besides, Viktor had been allowed to fly inside the cabin during that flight. The airline staff didn't even bother to make Viktor sit on the scales. Galin was unable to persuade staff to bring his fur baby on board.

"To all attempts to explain that the cat won't survive there on an 8-hour flight with the baggage and would haunt her in her nightmares for the rest of her life, she (the Aeroflot staff member) replied that there are rules," Galin wrote in a Facebook post translated from Russian.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Photo by Kelvin Octa from Pexels

Newborn babies don't seem to do much beyond eating and pooping and, of course, hiccupping. A lot. Parenting advice on how to cure a baby's hiccups runs the whole gamut. It's recommended parents try everything from nursing to stop feeding the baby so much, from giving the baby gripe water to letting the hiccups play their course. But when your baby hiccups too much, you shouldn't freak out. There's a good reason why.

A new study published in Clinical Neurophysiology found that hiccups play an important role in a baby's development. Researchers from the University College London found 217 babies for their study, but only looked at 13 newborns with persistent hiccups. Ten of those babies hiccupped when they were awake, and three hiccupped during their "wriggly" sleep. We have no idea how the scientists got any work done with all that cuteness lying around.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon / YouTube

Actress Kristen Bell and "The Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon showed off their vocal and comedic chops on Tuesday night when the performed a medley of 17 Disney songs, spanning nine decades, in just five minutes.

The duo started with 1940's "When You Wish Upon a Star" and ended with 2013's "Let it Go" from "Frozen."

Bell will reprise her role as Anna in Disney's upcoming "Frozen 2."

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Ask almost any woman about a time a man said or did something sexually inappropriate to them, and she'll have a story or four to tell. According to a survey NPR published last year, 81% of women report having experienced sexual harassment, with verbal harassment being the most common. (By contrast, 43% of men report being sexually harassed. Naturally harassment toward anyone of any sex or gender is not okay, but women have been putting up with this ish unchecked for centuries.)

One form of verbal sexual harassment is the all too common sexist or sexual "joke." Ha ha ha, I'm going to say something explicit or demeaning about you and then we can all laugh about how hilarious it is. And I'll probably get away with it because you'll be too embarrassed to say anything, and if you do you'll be accused of being overly sensitive. Ha! Won't that be a hoot?

Keep Reading Show less
popular