One peace ring begets another.
A group of Norwegians plans to link hands and encircle a mosque in Oslo, Norway, next Saturday, offering the symbolic peace gesture as a "thank you" to the city's Muslim population, more than 1,000 of whom formed their own "peace circle" around Oslo's synagogue this weekend.
— Oda Leraan Skjetne (@oSkjetne) February 21, 2015
1300 Muslims link hands in a Ring of Peace around Jewish synagogue in Oslo. Best news from Europe all year. pic.twitter.com/CnsrbC3o1c
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) February 21, 2015
Organizers of the event say they want the human shield to be a seen as an endorsement of peace, tolerance and respect for Muslims, who they say are "a vulnerable minority in Norwegian society."
"We want to stand shoulder to shoulder with our Muslim fellow citizens to show disgust towards increasing Muslim hate and xenophobia in society," the organizers say, according to a translation of the event's Facebook page.
"In this time of fear and polarization we feel it is more important than ever to stand together and show solidarity," the organizers continue. "We believe in and will highlight [the] human will to live together in peace and in [respect] for each other regardless of religion [and] ethnicity."
This past Saturday, members of Oslo's Muslim population encircled a synagogue there. The gesture came a week after a Danish-born man, reportedly of Arab origins, killed two people at a free speech event and a synagogue in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"Humanity is one and we are here to demonstrate that," Zeeshan Abdullah, one of the organizers of the synagogue event, told Reuters. "There are many more peace mongers than warmongers ... There's still hope for humanity, for peace and love, across religious differences and backgrounds."