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."