Date: 19/08/2017
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Lower than expected turnout for Muslim anti-terror march in Cologne

From Deutsche  Welle

A peace march organized by German Muslim groups to condemn terrorism and violence in the name of Islam has been held in Cologne. Organizers had registered 10,000 participants, but actual turnout was much lower.

The march, organized by Islamic scholar Lamya Kaddor and peace activist Tarek Mohamad to condemn violence in the name of Islam across the world, was preceded by a heated debate when Germany's biggest Islamic association, the Turkish-Islamic Union (known by its acronym DITIB), refused to take part.

Under gray skies, demonstrators waved banners proclaiming "together against terror" and "terrorism has no religion" on Saturday in the western German city of Cologne. Estimates of the number of people who took part varied from several hundred to about 3,500.

The march, organized by Islamic scholar Lamya Kaddor and peace activist Tarek Mohamad to condemn violence in the name of Islam across the world, was preceded by a heated debate when Germany's biggest Islamic association, the Turkish-Islamic Union (known by its acronym DITIB), refused to take part.

DITIB said it would send the wrong signal to suggest that Muslims were mainly responsible for international terrorism and also maintained that those observing the Ramadan fast could not be expected to march for hours in the summer heat. They are however, expected to do just that for Al Quds. Several other Islamic organizations including Germany's Central Council of Muslims took part in the gathering, named "Not with us - Muslims and friends against violence and terror."

Another participant, Beyza Gurlevik, said Muslims were doubly affected by terrorist attacks."[First] from the attacks themselves, and then because the blame is put on us," Gurlevik said. "It is important to show that we are against Islamist terror."

Follow-up marches are planned for Berlin and several other German cities.



 

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