World Bulletin/News Desk
Imams from the Turkish community in Germany are to hold solidarity rallies in front of media buildings on Friday to condemn the massacre of staff at the Paris headquarters of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
The Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), an umbrella organization of around 900 Turkish mosque associations in Germany, announced on Thursday its Imams and community members will visit media companies in 60 cities on Friday in a sign of solidarity with media professionals.
Professor Nevzat Yasar Asikoglu, board chairman of DITIB said Thursday at a press conference in Cologne: "We Muslims also have responsibility for defending the freedoms and values of our societies."
"As we cannot accept attacks on our mosques, we cannot accept attacks on our freedoms and social peace."
Asikoglu said that the Muslim community had been deeply shocked by the recent attacks in France, which had targeted social peace and freedoms, and strongly condemned terrorism.
“For us Muslims also, freedom of expression and press freedom constitutes the basis for social freedoms,” he said.
Asikoglu said that, following Friday prayers on Jan 16., imams and community members will visit newspapers, TV and radio stations in almost 60 cities.
They will also organize solidarity demos in front of the media buildings, lay flowers in memory of the victims and demonstrate their solidarity with journalists, he added.
Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe, after France.
Among the four million Muslims in the country, three million are of Turkish origin.
Suspicion and intolerance towards Muslims has increased in Germany after the attacks in Paris last week.
Twelve people, including prominent journalists and cartoonists, were killed last Wednesday when masked gunmen attacked the Paris headquarters of the magazine, known for printing provocative material, including derogatory cartoons of Prophet Muhammad.
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