Both Muslims and non-Muslims joined in a march against terrorism in Cologne, Germany on Saturday under the slogan “Not With Us.” While 10,000 people signed up to attend the march, the crowd grew to only about 1,000 people, disappointing many.
“Muslim civil society should not let extremists speak [for them].”
However, the rally’s organizers Lamya Kaddor, an Islamic scholar, and Tarek Mohamed, a Muslim activist, remain optimistic. Kaddor promises that this march is “just the beginning” and announced more rallies under the “Not With Us” campaign in cities like Berlin. Additionally, Kaddor asked Muslim communities to organize their own events and stated, “Muslim civil society should not let extremists speak [for them].”
Though the majority of German Muslims, who comprise five percent of Germany’s total population, agree that extremists are not representative of them or Islam, the rally was not unanimously supported by all Muslim groups.
Kaddor asked Muslim communities to organize their own events and stated, “Muslim civil society should not let extremists speak [for them].”
According to ABC, The Turkish-Islamic Union, the country’s biggest Islamic group, refused to partake in the march. “Calls for ‘Muslim’ anti-terror demos fall short [of their goal], stigmatize Muslims, and confine international terrorism to being just among them, and within their communities and mosques,” the group explained. Furthermore, The Turkish-Islamic Union also believed that expecting Muslims to march in hot temperatures while fasting was unreasonable. However, both Kaddor and German government officials criticized the group for their lack of support.
The rally was not unanimously supported by all Muslim groups.
In spite of the disagreement surrounding the rally, it was still a tremendous display of solidarity against violence. Muslims and non-Muslims alike were in attendance, chanting, “People of all countries, hand in hand, are against terrorism in any land!” and holding signs with slogans like, “Love of All, Hatred for None.”