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.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

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Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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