— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) February 22, 2015
The international media ran with a hoax this weekend that claimed 1,000 Muslims formed a “ring of peace” outside a Norwegian synagogue.
The AP, AFP, and Reuters wire services picked up the story from Oslo on Saturday, leading to its wide publication, including Fox News and Israel’s Haaretz. But the story was false.
The plan was to form a ring around the synagogue, using at least 30 young Muslims, which was reported by Norway’s The Local last Tuesday. The 17-year-old group leader told Norway state broadcaster NRK, “I’ve said that it only comes to 30, it won’t be good, it may seem counter-productive, but if you fill Bergstien [the street where the synagogue is based], it will be very good.”
A local described the event on Reddit:
Well, I was there, and it wasn’t 1000 muslims. It was 1300 people in total of which almost everyone looked like ethnic Norwegians. The people holding hands are media staged – they had barriers in front with an entry checkpoint with 10 guards or so, and allowed a small number of muslims inside together with the Jewish congregation.
So innermost the synagogue with 50 or so Jews, then this semicircle of 20 or so muslims, then the barriers and guards and police, then a mostly Norwegian crowd.
The 20 Muslims out of 1,300 people quickly became “1,000 Muslims” to the media, which was more than willing to participate in the hoax — and to report a blatant lie.
Even worse, one of the speakers at the event was reported by Daniel Greenfield to have given a 2008 speech that began “I hate Jews, and how they operate and I will furthermore elaborate on why I hold such beliefs.”
Everyone would love to see Europe deal with its anti-Semitism problem. Staging fake media events and then wildly inflating the number of Muslims who show up is, however, the very definition of counter-productive.
— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) February 22, 2015
One Twitter use asks: are you sure you got this right?
I heard it was more like 20 and the pictures are always of the same 20 people. Are we sure it was 1000? http://t.co/HXhj3NkytO
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) February 23, 2015