Few came to protest against Norway’s presence in Afghanistan in front of Parliament, Friday.
Organizers had announced they expected between 500 and 750, but several amongst Norway’s Muslim community had encouraged members to boycott the protest.
Just 37 people turned up in front of Parliament to hear one of two speakers, Arfan Bhatti, say, “the safety of the Norwegian people will be threatened as long as you are in Afghanistan. This is not a threat, but a warning.”
Meancing those who stayed at home, saying, “You will answer on Judgment Day”, Mr Bhatti also expressed his firm belief that Norway is doomed to lose in Afghanistan because “the fact is that it is at war with Islam and the Muslims.”
A small boy began by singing prayers at the demonstration, which began at 14:30, half-an-hour later than scheduled. Protesters then put down black plastic sacks and started to pray. Many had dissipated ten minutes later, leaving more journalists than participants, reports NRK.
34-year-old Mr Bhatti encouraged those gathered to support their “brother”, who has been indicted and jailed for this week’s hate video threatening Crown Prince Haakon and government members.
“The Government has gagged his entire speech and he has been punished by the Police Security Service (PST) because he is Muslim. We ask Allah to arrange his release and that he punishes the PST”, he said.
Arfan Bhatti was convicted for his role contributing to damage to Oslo’s synagogue in 2008. He was also accused but subsequently acquitted for planning terrorism against US and Israeli targets.
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