VIDEO: Muslims Form 'Ring of Peace' to Protect Oslo Synagogue
More than 1,000 people, many of them Muslim, formed a human shield around a synagogue in Oslo, Norway this weekend as a symbol of solidarity with Jews in the capital city after a synagogue was attacked in Denmark, Reuters reports.
"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 Saturday.
"There are many more peace-mongers than war-mongers," Abdullah added. "There’s still hope for humanity, for peace and love, across religious differences and backgrounds."
Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein opened fire on a synagogue in Copenhagen last week, killing two people, the Associated Press reports. El-Hussein had just been released from jail two weeks prior. The 22-year-old Danish citizen was killed during a gun battle with a SWAT team.
Norway is home to one of Europe’s smallest Jewish communities, numbering only around 1,000. The country’s Muslim population is 150,000 to 200,000. Norway has a population of 5.2 million people.
Immigration has been an issue of debate in the country since 2011, when right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people and accused the government of encouraging Muslims to immigrate to the country which he claimed was at the expense of Norwegian citizens. Most Norwegians don’t have an issue with immigration, however; 77 percent responded in an opinion poll last year that immigration has made an important contribution to society.
An opinion poll also reports that the country’s anti-immigration Progress Party would get only 10 percent of the vote if an election were held today. That’s down from 22.9 percent in 2009.
Here's a report from CCTV News: