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Mon, 07/03/2017 - 14:54

Muslim peace march: Hundreds take to Cologne streets to protest Islamist terrorism

A Muslim "peace march" against terrorism has been held in the German city of Cologne.

The DPA news agency reported that a few hundred people gathered for the demonstration Saturday, with placards such as "Together against terror" and "Hatred makes the earth hell," and the crowd later grew to over 1,000. 

The organizers of the "Not With Us" [NichtMitUns] march had expected several thousand protesters.

Marchers held banners including one that said: "Love for all, hatred for none," and another reading: "A Muslim protects lives and does not take them".

The country's biggest Islamic association, the Turkish Ditib union, which represents more than 900 Muslim communities across the country, had refused to take part in the march, which was led by groups representing the Ahmadi sect.

The Turkish-Islamic Union argued it would send the wrong signal by suggesting that international terrorism is mainly a Muslim problem.

It also said Muslims observing the Ramadan fast could not be expected to march for hours in summer temperatures. 

That stance drew criticism from the government, which welcomed the march.

The protest comes in the wake of recent terror attacks in the UK and around the world. 

"The attacks by people who justify their acts by invoking Islam, without justification, are becoming more frequent," protest organizers wrote ahead of the rally.

They added: "Our faith is being abused, defiled, insulted and distorted into something unrecognizable by this. Let us put a powerful sign against violence and terror."

Source: The Independent