Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Muslims Volunteer to Protect Synagogue in Norway

Michael L.

Writing in the Times of Israel, Stuart Winer tells us:
synagogueIn the wake of a deadly shooting attack at a synagogue in Denmark last week, a group of Norwegian Muslims intends to hold an anti-violence demonstration at an Oslo synagogue this coming weekend by forming a “peace ring” around the building.

One of the event organizers, 17-year-old Hajrad Arshad, explained that the intention was to make a clear statement that Muslims don’t support anti-Semitism.

“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,” Arshad told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation NRK in an interview cited by The Local News website on Tuesday.

She noted that the group aimed to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims.”
Sometimes it is necessary to give credit where credit is due and young Hajrad Arshad, and his people, deserve great credit for this initiative.

If we had more Hajrad Arshad's around I would close up this blog and go write about fishing or food.


  1. There are about 1500-2000 Jews in Norway. Jewish Journal claims there are 819. About 500 are affiliated with this shul. It's Orthodox (but has a choir?). There is a Chabad organization as well but it runs out of someone's home. There is a smaller community in Trondheim that uses its own Jewish center as a shul as well. It has no rabbi and no minyan.

    Jews were given very limited rights to live in Norway until 1687 when they were expelled. Jews were permitted to live in Norway again in 1851. The population 'grew' to about 2100 until WW2 whereupon all were either killed or fled to Sweden. Of the Jews in Norway in WW2, 1400 were Norwegian citizens. 772 were sent to the camps 740 were killed.

    That shul was firebombed and attacked with machine gun fire in 2006. Since then it's been a rearguard fight to keep the Jews of Noway alive. There's been a steady stream of attempted lynchings since then and antisemitism is pervasive in all media and across all strata of people and politics. This shul already has round the clock police protection. So this effort may or may not be a real thing.

    Norway places strict medical restrictions on Brit Millah though they are still permitted. Shechita (kosher butchering) is illegal so all Kosher meat must be imported.

  2. This is, btw,a truly beautiful synagogue.