A recent rally in Cologne, Germany which was billed by organizers as a demonstration of Muslim popular opposition to terrorism fizzled out, drawing only a small fraction of the turnout expected.
Dubbed the “Nicht Mit Uns” (Not With Us) march, the event held this last Saturday won the backing of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, which called upon Europe’s Muslims to demonstrate their opposition to terrorism in public, following the recent wave of attacks by Islamist terrorists.
“The attacks carried out by people justifying their actions with Islam - unjustifiably - are increasing. Our faith is being exploited for the worse. It is being sullied, disgraced and distorted into something unrecognizable. We must stand against the terrorists,” the Central Council of Muslims in Germany wrote on its website.
Aiman Isaac, Chairman of the Council, said that “We must go out to the streets and express that we are fighting for the unity of our society and condemn the extremism. I call on all Muslims in Germany to come to the march and participate.”
Organizers said they expected at least 10,000 Muslims to show up for the march.
But less than a tenth of that number actually turned out on Saturday.
According to Euronews, just a few hundred joined in the march.
ABC News claimed the crowd grew after the march to 1,000, but still fell short of the numbers hoped for by organizers.
Some local Muslim groups opposed the event, including the Turkish-Islamic Union, which said the march sent the wrong signal by suggesting terrorism was an especially Muslim problem. The group also cited the ongoing Ramadan fast, saying Muslims observing the month-long period of daytime fasting could not be expected to exert themselves by attending.