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German government 'sad' Islamic group won't join peace march

Associated Press logo Associated Press 16/06/2017

BERLIN — The German government has criticized the country's biggest Islamic association for refusing to take part in a Muslim "peace march" against terrorism Saturday.

The Turkish-Islamic Union said Wednesday that the demonstration in Cologne would send a wrong signal by suggesting international terrorism is mainly a Muslim problem.

The union, known by its acronym DITIB, also said Muslims observing the Ramadan-month fast couldn't be expected to march for hours in the summer sun.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Friday that the march, organized by a group calling itself "Not With Us," was a welcome sign against extremism.

Seibert said it was good for Muslims to make clear "there's no room in their ranks and mosques for hate and violence."

He added: "It's simply sad that DITIB doesn't want to participate."

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