Here is a silver lining.
In response to last weekend’s terrorist attack at the Great Synagogue in Copenhagen which claimed one life, a Muslim woman in neighboring Norway began an online campaign on Facebook to protect Oslo’s Bergstien Street Synagogue.
Hajrad Arshad, the 17-year old organizer said the aim is to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims”. Arshad added, “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,”
Following Saturday Shabbat services, people will gather around the synagogue and form a peace ring.
Although there is considerable Muslim hatred against Jews, it is imperative for to us to acknowledge the Muslims who are prepared to stand against anti-Semitism whether it’s to Ms. Arshad or to Lassana Bathily, the Muslim store clerk who saved Jewish lives at Paris’ Hyper Cacher grocery store by hiding them in the store’s cellar.
I harbor no illusions that Muslim attitudes towards Jews will change overnight. But this does offer a glimmer of hope. If President Obama is serious about combatting radicalism and violence among Muslims then this is the sort of thing that has to happen and happen consistently.