Solidarity across Religions


Norway’s Muslims form protective human ring around synagogue

OSLO Sat Feb 21, 2015 3:43pm EST

Muslims join hands to form a human shield as they stand outside a synagogue in Oslo

 

Muslim women join hands to form a human shield as they stand outside a synagogue in Oslo

Muslims join hands to form a human shield as they stand outside a synagogue in Oslo February 21, 2015.

CREDIT: REUTERS/HAKON MOSVOLD LARSEN/NTB SCANPIX

(Reuters) – More than 1000 Muslims formed a human shield around Oslo’s synagogue on Saturday, offering symbolic protection for the city’s Jewish community and condemning an attack on a synagogue in neighboring Denmark last weekend.

Chanting “No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia,” Norway’s Muslims formed what they called a ring of peace a week after Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, a Danish-born son of Palestinian immigrants, killed two people at a synagogue and an event promoting free speech in Copenhagen last weekend.

“Humanity is one and we are here to demonstrate that,” Zeeshan Abdullah, one of the protest’s organizers told a crowd of Muslim immigrants and ethnic Norwegians who filled the small street around Oslo’s only functioning synagogue.

“There are many more peace mongers than warmongers,” Abdullah said as organizers and Jewish community leaders stood side by side. “There’s still hope for humanity, for peace and love, across religious differences and backgrounds.”

Norway’s Jewish community is one of Europe’s smallest, numbering around 1000, and the Muslim population, which has been growing steadily through immigration, is 150,000 to 200,000. Norway has a population of about 5.2 million.

The debate over immigration in the country came to the forefront in 2011 when Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people and accused the government and the then-ruling Labour party of facilitating Muslim immigration and adulterating pure Norwegian blood.

Support for immigration has been rising steadily since those attacks, however, and an opinion poll late last year found that 77 percent of people thought immigrants made an important contribution to Norwegian society.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Pravin Char and Stephen Powell)

12 thoughts on “Solidarity across Religions

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Thank goodness most of the people in the world are good people.

  2. We have always evolved as members of humanity and no other way. Just a bit slow compared with our lifespan but our history shows the truth. Plod on. 🙂

  3. Thanks, Barbara, for this positive news. I am sure there are pockets of goodwill being shown to others around the world, but most go unnoticed.

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