Turkish imams in Germany to stand guard in front of media buildings in solidary against terror
German Muslims listen to the imam during the Friday prayer at the Şehitlik Mosque in Berlin on Jan. 9, 2015, two days after the attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris. AFP PhotoThe Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB) in Germany has called on Muslims in the country to stand guard in front of the buildings of media outlets after Friday prayers on Jan. 15, in a show of solidarity against terrorism in the aftermath of the attack at French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead.
“We believe that this terrorist attack against the lives of media figures is not only an attack launched against the fundamental pillars of the French society, but also an attack launched against our social order. We refuse to be passive over this attack,” the DİTİB said in a written statement on Jan. 9.
“We will always stand for freedom of expression and the press. We will always exert efforts for everybody to have freedom to express their views and have them published,” the DİTİB added, vowing to work to protect people from fear while using these freedoms.
“For this reason, we call on all of our associations to join a guard following Friday prayers on Jan. 16, 2015, in front of publishing houses, redaction houses and television studios across Germany, along with representatives of the DİTİB State Association Unions and imams,” it also stated, stressing that God’s name must not be cited to justify terrorist crimes.
The DİTİB is a federation of 896 Turkish-Islamic mosque associations throughout Germany, and falls within the jurisdiction of Turkey’s Directorate General for Religious Affairs (Diyanet). According to a study by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), the DİTİB is the most well-known of Muslim associations in Germany.
Meanwhile, a newspaper in Germany that republished Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons was attacked by arsonists early on Jan. 11.
Nobody was hurt in the fire, but the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper said several files in its archives were destroyed. Two men have been detained over the attack.