By JPOST EDITORIAL
It is important that Israeli leaders and society see Ramadan as a way to engage with the Muslim community.
……..Israel contains many experts on Islam and Islamic studies. The National Library at the Hebrew University’s Givat Ram Campus considers Islam one of its core areas and maintains an extensive collection of books relating to the subject. There is also the L.A. Mayer Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem.
Yet much of the study of Islam in Israel focuses either on obscure historical topics or on modern trends that exist outside Israel’s borders, such as the role of Islam in Egypt. This makes for a paucity of research into religious trends among Israeli Muslims.
The Jewish public is, therefore, at a loss in terms of the most simple facts relating to a large segment of Israel’s population, such as how many Muslims actually fast on Ramadan. The Central Bureau of Statistics conducts an annual Social Survey that includes interviews with more than 1,000 Israeli Muslims but does not examine detailed questions associated with religious observance.
During the past decade, there has been a growth in Islamic institutions in Israel, especially among certain sectors such as the Beduin. According to one study published in 2003, “in the past 15 years, the number of mosques in Israel has increased four-and-a-half times, from 80 in 1988 to 363 in 2003.”