More than 1,000 people, including many Muslims, formed a human chain around an Oslo synagogue in a show of support for Jews.
However, some Norwegian Jews said the so-called “peace ring” on Saturday night was tainted because one of its organizers said over the weekend that he dislikes people who support Israel. The organizer, Ali Chishti, had also made anti-Jewish and anti-Israel statements in 2009 that he disavowed.
The seven organizers, many of them Muslims, had planned the initiative with the endorsement of the Jewish community to protest the slaying on Feb. 15 by an Islamist of a Jewish volunteer guard at the main synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Ervin Kohn, head of the Jewish community of Oslo, told JTA that he thought the initiative was “extremely positive” and could change the dynamics of minority relations in Scandinavia.
But Chishti confirmed on Saturday in an interview with Verdens Gang, a Norwegian tabloid, that he delivered a speech in Oslo on March 22, 2009 on the alleged involvement of Jews in planning the 9/11 World Trade Center bombings in New York. The speech’s title was “Therefore I Hate Jews and Gays,” the newspaper reported, though Chishti said he was not the one who came up with the title.