Merkel, top ministers attend Muslim solidarity rally

January 14, 2015 6:17 am 

BERLIN, Jan. 14 — Germany's top politicians and leaders of religious communities joined a Muslim-organized solidarity rally in Berlin on Tuesday, calling for joint actions against terrorism and a peaceful coexistence between different religions.

Thousands of people have reportedly participated in the rally at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, which is organized by Germany's Muslim organizations and Turkish community groups in the wake of last week's attacks in Paris in which 17 people were killed.

German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel and members of her cabinet as well as other senior figures from across the political spectrum have attended the gathering.

"We are all Germany," said Gauck while addressing the rally, calling upon all people in Germany, regardless of their religion or origin, to support openness and democracy.

He also expressed his gratitude to Germany's Muslims for having distanced themselves from terrorism in Islam's name.

Aiman Mazyek, head of the German Council of Muslims, told the crowd that there was no justification for intimidation and violence such as the attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

"The terrorists haven't won, and they will not win," he added.

In addition to Muslim leaders, Christian and Jewish representatives have also spoken at the rally. They have appealed for joint efforts to combat terrorism and a continuation of dialogue between religions.

While not among the speakers, Merkel has thanked Germany's four-million-strong Muslim community for having drawn a clear line and delivered a clear 'No' to the use of violence following the bloody attacks in Paris.

She said on Monday that Islam was part of Germany, and Tuesday' s rally would send a strong signal for the peaceful coexistence of religions in her country.

The chancellor is expected to address the German parliament on Thursday in a special session to commemorate the victims of the Paris attacks and deliver a government statement on this issue. (PNA/Xinhua)

FPV/JSD

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