With Islamophobic hate crimes on the rise, Muslim leaders are working harder to secure their mosques and institutions. Some are turning to Jewish experts for assistance.
A few Jewish organizations have partnered with local and national Muslim groups to advise them on best security practices and advocate jointly for stronger hate crime legislation. Cooperation between the two communities, which was growing late last year, is turning toward the particulars of staying safe in a nervous climate — how to prevent attacks and handle hate crimes.
"When people start to feel unsafe in Sabbath or Sunday or Friday services, that can make for a very complicated and challenging set of circumstances," said Paul Goldenberg, director of the Secure Community Network, which advises Jewish groups and institutions on security and has worked with Muslim, Sikh and Christian institutions on composing security plans. "Extremist groups have come to realize our houses of worship are an Achilles' heel."