Thousands of Muslims are expected to march against terrorism in the German city of Cologne on Saturday.
The event, which was first announced on June 7, will gather 10,000 people in the Germen city under the slogan “Not With Us” for the Ramadan peace march.
The goal is to express solidarity with victims of terrorism across the world, to promote peace, freedom and democracy and to repudiate extremists who commit acts of terror in the name of Islam.
“A peace march in Ramadan, initiated by Muslims, supported by different actors in society, would send a symbolic signal,” the March organizers, Islamic scholar Lamya Kaddor and Muslim peace activist Tarek Mohamad, wrote in their call to action.
“We are demonstrating against extremism, terrorism, war and dictatorship. We stand for pluralism within and outside of religion, against a split of our diverse society in ‘us’ and ‘them,’” they added.
The announcement has received widespread support from activists, politicians and members of the public, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel adding her voice in support of the action in a statement shared on Twitter by government spokesperson Steffen Seibert.
However, Germany’s largest Islamic organization, the Turkish Ditib union, has refused to take part in the event say it stigmatizes Muslims as being solely responsible for terrorism.