Angela Merkel is to join a Muslim community rally in Berlin to promote tolerance, condemn the attacks in Paris and send a rebuke to Germany’s growing anti-Islamic movement, SIA reorts with refrence to The Guardian.
The vigil is to start on Tuesday afternoon at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and is organised by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany under the banner “Let’s be there for each other. Terror: not in our name!”
Merkel, who is to be joined at the event by most of her cabinet , has spoken out against the far-right Pegida group and stressed on Monday that “Islam belongs to Germany”.
Pegida drew a record 25,000 marchers to its 12th weekly rally in Dresden on Monday, its flag-waving members holding a minute’s silence for the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris last week.
Its latest protest was met by some 100,000 counter-demonstrators nationwide, who accused Pegida of exploiting the French attacks by Islamist gunmen, and who voiced support for a multicultural German society.
Merkel has thanked leaders of Germany’s 4 million-strong Muslim community for quickly and clearly condemning the violence committed in the name of their faith in last week’s bloody attacks in Paris.
“Germany wants peaceful coexistence of Muslims and members of other religions” and the vigil would send a strong message, she said at a joint press conference with the Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu.
Rallies organised by Pegida, launched in October, have been growing week on week and spawned copycat groups nationwide.
The protests have been fuelled by a sharp rise in refugees seeking political asylum in Germany, which has been scrambling to house the newcomers in converted schools, office blocks and container villages.