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Muslim organizations in Germany unite against terror

November 16, 2015

The involvement of radical Islamists in Friday's attacks has prompted Muslim leadership in Germany to call an emergency meeting. A bomber's apparent identity as a Syrian refugee could create animosity towards refugees.

Junge Muslime in Deutschland
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/A. Gebert

After the attacks in Paris, the eight largest Muslim religious organizations in Germany condemned the actions through a joint statement and declared their position against the discrimination of refugees.

On Saturday, representatives from each group met at the Muslim Coordination Council in Cologne to discuss the situation after the Paris attacks.

"The murderers in Paris are mistaken if they think they are carrying out a divine will," the statement released on Monday said.

The organizations also expressed their determination to stand up against terrorism and all forms of violence. "It is now more important than ever to strengthen and support social peace," they said.

"We cannot allow hate, disagreement and fear to enter our hearts," said Zekeriya Altug, speaker of the Muslim Coordination Council of Germany. Altug invited all organizations to work together and stand up for democratic values.

Dr. Zekeriya Altug DITIB Nord
Dr. Zekeriya Altug is the speaker of the Muslim Coordination Council of GermanyImage: privat

"We stand together in solidarity against those who try to divide us," added Altug. All organizations agreed that refugees should continue to be supported after the attacks and not be linked to or blamed for the recent events.

"Our responsibility does not end outside the walls of our mosques," warned Bekir Altas of the Milli Görüs organization. "We need to reach the youth and those who are outside of our mosques especially those who are active online."

Deutschland Muslime Flüchtlinge
A refugee Muslim family arrives Germany by train from Budapest.Image: Getty Images/S. Gallup

Abdullah Uwe Wagishauser of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat organization pointed out the good cooperation of Muslim organizations in Germany with authorities. "There is a significantly different atmosphere to other European countries such as France or Great Britain. Here the mosques are no place for hate sermons," he said.

The organizations represent between roughly 60 and 70 percent of all Muslims living in Germany which account for about 4 million people.

hf/kms (AFP, epd)