kippahIsrael news photo: Flah 90

Hundreds of Orthodox Jews wearing kippot, as well as non-Jewish supporters, marched in the southern Swedish city of Malmo on Friday, protesting against the recent rise in anti-Semitism and calling for religious tolerance for all minorities.

A number of anti-Semitic incidents have been reported by the Jewish community of Malmo, Sweden’s third largest city, in recent years, including verbal abuse directed against an Orthodox rabbi.

Willy Silberstein of the Swedish Committee Against Anti-Semitism, which organized the march, called the turnout “impressive.” “There was much more people than we expected,” he said, stressing that many of the participants were not Jewish.

Among those who joined the walk from the main synagogue in Malmo to a central square was cabinet member Brigitta Ohlsson. “I think it is natural to show that Malmo is a city of openness and tolerance,” Ohlsson, minister for democracy issues, told Swedish Radio news.

“We have walked with the message that it should be possible to wear the kippah on your head and not in your backpack,” Ohlsson said.