On Saturday, I expressed serious skepticism here at PJ Media about the “Muslim Peace Ring” that surrounded an Oslo synagogue over the weekend. Here’s what I observed:
Now I’m not going to get into the motives of those involved today, but color me skeptical of these types of events for several reasons.
First, if you contact the international media to cover your event, forgive me if I question your sincerity. Your staged “Ring of Peace” photo op is really a “Ring of Propaganda.” Matthew 6:1-4 and all that.
Secondly, when you use actual victims (Jews) to try to make yourselves (Muslims) the victims by leading your chants with “No to anti-Semitism,” and then smuggling in your own “Islamophobia” narrative, I’m calling BS…
Thirdly, these Muslim “human chain” photo ops are never around when you actually need them.
I gave the example of the “Muslim human ring” around the Mar Girgis Church in Sohag, Egypt story that was circulated in July 2013, only to have the same church torched by the Muslim Brotherhood the very next month.
When Muslims formed a human chain around a church in Sohag, Egypt for photo op, they burned it down weeks later pic.twitter.com/KShm3harnL
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) February 22, 2015
But now it seems the media narrative on the Oslo “Muslim Peace Ring” couldn’t even last 24 hours.
As Haaretz reports, one of the event organizers had accused Jews (remember, this human chain was around a synagogue) of being behind the 9/11 attack:
Ali Chishti confirmed on Saturday in an interview with Verdens Gang, a highbrow Norwegian newspaper, that he delivered on March 22, 2008, in Oslo a speech on the alleged involvement of Jews in planning the 9/11 Twin Towers bombings in New York. The speech’s title was: ”Therefore I Hate Jews and Gays,” the paper reported, though Chishti said he was not the one who came up with the title.
“There were several thousand Jews away from work in the World Trade Center, and why there were more Jews in Mumbai when Pakistani terrorists attacked than usual?” he said then, repeating the conspiracy theory that Jews knew in advance of the attack that killed thousands. “Jews are a small group, but everyone knows that they have a lot of power,” he said.
In Saturday interviews, he retracted his words. In an interview with the daily Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, he said they were “anti-Semitic” and “unacceptable.”
“I was angry,” he told Verdens Gang. “I have since changed my views.” But he also said he “dislikes” people who support “an occupying force that has been condemned in several United Nations resolutions.”
“I think it is important to distinguish between being critical of Israel and anti-Semitism,” he also told Verdens Gang.
Eric Argaman, a pro-Israel activist and member of Norway’s Jewish community, said Chishti’s involvement “stained the event, which now feels more like a spin, on our backs, than a gesture of good will.”
Yeah, Eric, there’s a lot of that going around.
Needless to say, well-meaning supporters of the event felt deflated:
Well it was sweet while it lasted. Oslo synagogue 'peace ring' organizer blamed Jews for 9/11 http://t.co/zQZp3XaH0F
— Michael Weiss (@michaeldweiss) February 22, 2015
Some, however, were not deterred:
The courage of these Muslims is inspiring. Only Muslims can take back their religion. We must stand with them. http://t.co/8KbEwTVzsN
— Saul Singer (@saulsinger) February 22, 2015
Again, having already admitted my own skepticism of these publicity stunts, I find it difficult how anyone can describe a media event being covered by the international media hundreds of miles away (Oslo, Norway) from the actual site of last week’s synagogue attack (Copenhagen, Denmark) as some great act of courage. As I noted in my previous article, these Muslim “human chains” are never around when Jews or Christians actually need them.
But the media narrative on the Oslo event this weekend had not yet completely collapsed:
— Sir Castic (@TzviZucker) February 23, 2015
That’s right. While the international media (AP, AFP, Reuters, et al.) all reported that there were 1000+ Muslims forming the chain around the Oslo synagogue, the reality was something quite different.
As Jordan Schachtel over at Breitbart reported yesterday:
The weekend’s feel-good story about a Muslim “ring of peace” formed to “protect” Jews at an Oslo synagogue turned out to be a complete fabrication by the mainstream media, according to an eyewitness report, local officials, and attendees’ photos.
According to a local eyewitness, only about 20 or so Muslims formed the “ring of peace” around the Oslo synagogue. In fact, pictures from multiple angles show that there wasn’t enough people to form a ring, so the locals instead formed a horizontal line in front of the synagogue.
A local news outlet explained how the media got to its “1,300 Muslims” number. “According to police, there were 1300 persons present in the event. Very many of them ethnic Norwegians,” read a translated report from Osloby.no.
Demonstrators also reportedly chanted, “No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia,” conflating criticism of Islam and hatred of Jews.
Photos pulled off of social media appear to corroborate the narrative that only twenty or so people formed the “peace ring.”
So rather than 1000+ Muslims in front of the Oslo synagogue, there were at best a couple of dozen. Everyone else were just well-meaning non-Muslim supporters.
Meanwhile, as reported over at Twitchy, several hundred Danish Muslims attended the funeral of Copenhagen terror killer Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein on Friday, leading several of us to observe:
— Patrick Poole (@pspoole) February 23, 2015
If not to put too fine a point on it:
Consider this international media narrative busted.