Following the attacks in Paris and Copenhagen, Jews and Muslims in Europe are facing “rising anti-Semitism,” and many Jews are leaving in “record numbers” to escape being targeted constantly by gunmen at their institutions in Paris and Copenhagen. Muslims in Oslo are taking the initiative to support these Jews by forming a “ring of peace,” according to a blog on The Washington Post.
The group of Muslims in Norway will form a “ring of peace” this Saturday around a synagogue in Oslo. On a Facebook page promoting the event, the group explained its motivations. Here’s a translated version of the invite:
Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to. Islam is about rising above hate and never sinking to the same level as the haters. Islam is about defending each other. Muslims want to show that we deeply deplore all types of hatred of Jews, and that we are there to support them. We will therefore create a human ring around the synagogue on Saturday 21 February. Encourage everyone to come!
According to the Times of Israel, Ervin Kohn, a leader of Oslo’s small Jewish community, had agreed to allowing the event on the condition that more than 30 people show up — a small gathering would make the effort look “counter-productive,” Kohn said.
About a 1,000 people have indicated on Facebook that they will attend.
“We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening,” 17-year-old event organizer Hajrad Arshad said in an interview.
“If someone wants to attack the synagogue, they need to step over us first,” posted another of the event’s organizers on Facebook.
Christians, Jews, Muslims hold peace pilgrimage in London
Marchers cross Westminster Bridge past the Houses of Parliament during an interreligious march for peace in London on February 19, 2015. PHOTO: AFP
Christians, Jews and Muslims from all walks of British life made a pilgrimage through central London on Thursday, in a show of unity against the hatred that drove recent attacks in France and Denmark.
More than 100 people, including faith leaders, children and pensioners, walked in the rain from London’s main mosque at Regent’s Park to the Central Synagogue and then through the bustling crowds of Soho to Westminster Abbey.
At each venue they gathered for a moment of reflection, led variously by the local imam, rabbi and priest, to emphasise their shared values and hopes for peace.
“The terrorists hope to divide us but these atrocities are uniting us,” Sheikh Khalifa Ezzat, chief imam at London Central Mosque, told AFP.
The march was called in response to last month’s Islamist attacks in Paris, by a group of religious leaders brought together under the inter-faith Coexist programme