Hundreds of Norwegian Muslims have formed a human shield around a Synagogue in the country’s capital as a symbol of solidarity with the city’s Jewish community.
Over 1,000 Muslims chanted “No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia” as they formed what they called a “ring of peace” around the Jewish place of worship.
The demonstration was called in reaction to an attack on a Synagogue in neighbouring Denmark by a Danish-born Muslim.
Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein shot dead two people at an event promoting free speech in Copenhagen last weekend.
Muslim and Jewish religious leaders stood side-by-side at the event. One of its organisers, Zeeshan Abdullah, said told the crowd:
“Humanity is one and we are here to demonstrate that. There are many more peace-mongers than warmongers.
"There's still hope for humanity, for peace and love, across religious differences and backgrounds."
Norway’s Jewish community numbers around 1,000 while its Muslim population is around 200,000. Norway’s total population is around 5.2m.
The issue of ethnic violence came to the fore in the country in 2011 when the white far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people associated with the country’s dominant Labour Party.
He said he disliked the centre-left party for its tolerant policies on immigration.
Support for immigration in the country has been steadily rising since the attacks after a backlash against the influence of the country’s anti-immigrant parties.
An opinion poll last year found that 77% people believe immigrants made a positive contribution to Norwegian society.
Breivik’s attempt to set up a right-wing fascist network from prison has also been met with little success.
According to an OpinionPerduco poll published last week, the country’s anti-immigrant Progress Party would get 10% if Norway were to have an election today – down dramatically on the 22.9% it received in 2009.
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