ADL Finds anti-Semitism on the Rise: News Roundup

In the news this week: ADL survey finds increase in anti-Semitic attitudes, a study explores the American Muslim community’s approach to LGBT issues, workplace chaplains become more widely used, and other stories.

Anti-Semitism in the United States has increased slightly since 2009, according to an Anti-Defamation League survey.  Results of the 2011 Survey of American Attitudes Towards Jews in America released Thursday showed that 15 percent of Americans hold anti-Semitic views, an increase of 3 percent since 2009 but matching levels in 2007 and 2005.
 
The survey also found a 5 percent increase, to 19 percent, of Americans who believe that “Jews have too much control/influence on Wall Street.” Other anti-Semitic views remained constant, with 31 percent believing that Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death and 30 percent that Jews were more loyal to Israel then America.    Jewish Daily Forward
 
On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled Michigan state senate passed an anti-bullying bill that manages to protect school bullies instead of those they victimize. It accomplishes this impressive feat by allowing students, teachers, and other school employees to claim that “a sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction” justifies their harassment. Time
 
Just as the Arab spring has upended conventional understanding of Arab and Muslim societies, so a new report on the issues faced by LGBT Muslims challenges the stereotype of Muslim communities in the U.S. and abroad as monolithically closed to conversations about sexuality. Religion Dispatches
 
A small but growing number of companies are employing workplace chaplains  – not, managers say, to bring religion to their workers but to provide comfort during crises and sometimes to assume off-site pastoral duties for those unaffiliated with a religion.
 
"Everybody has problems that can carry over into the workplace," said Richard White, senior vice president for human resources for Herr's in Pennsylvania, which deploys 25 chaplains to its work sites. "If we can help them in any way, we believe the program is good for the employees and for business." The Virginian-Pilot
 
Islamic scholars generally agree that while prayers command high priority, they can be missed or performed later in extenuating circumstances.
 
While Muslims differ about what constitutes extenuating circumstances, many successfully integrate prayer into their workday, often with help from their employers. Still, employers and Muslim workers sometimes clash over prayers. Religion News Service
 
The rising number of Tibetan Buddhist converts from China's dominant ethnic group, the Han Chinese, reflects a remarkable and quiet recovery for Buddhist teachings. Along with a building boom of new or expanded Buddhist monasteries and teaching facilities in the Ganzi Tibetan autonomous prefecture, it amounts to a reversal of some of the damage from Chairman Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. USA Today