After last week’s deadly shooting on a synagogue in Copenhagen, Muslim activists are holding an anti-violence demonstration at an Oslo synagogue this Saturday by forming a human “peace ring” around the prayer site.
The event intends to make a clear statement that Muslims do not support anti-Semitism.
“Islam is about protecting our brothers and sisters, regardless of which religion they belong to,” the event page explains. “Islam is about rising above hate and never sinking to the same level as the haters. Islam is about defending each other.”
The demonstration has drawn over 630 people on its Facebook event page and has received praise from the Jewish community.
One of the event’s organizers,17-year-old Hajrad Arshad, told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK that the group aimed to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims.”
This bold move comes at a critical time in our society where religious persecution feels endless with the dangerous stream of hate crimes reported week after week against Jews, Muslims and Christians across the globe. Coming together as a community in a peaceful, grassroots approach, specifically in an interfaith setting, is the first practical step towards a solution in fighting religious hatred.
An activist involved in the demonstration wrote on the event’s Facebook page that “if anyone wants to commit violence in the name of Islam you will have to go through us Muslims first.”