And that number includes many non-Muslims. In this case, many Muslims didnâ€™t show up because Muslim organizations refused to endorse the march, due to the involvement of the German Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. Sunni Muslims generally consider Ahmadiyyas as heretics or apostates. But this is not the first time that attendance at a Muslim rally against terrorism has been decidedly underwhelming. In July 2016, a much smaller than anticipated crowd showed up at a Muslims Against ISIS rally in Washington, D.C. There are thousands of Muslims in Dearborn, Michigan, but only 100 showed up for a rally against ISIS and â€œIslamophobiaâ€ in November 2015. And earlier that month, only 30 Muslims protested against the jihad massacres in Paris. In July 2015, a Muslim rally in Ireland against the Islamic State drew fifty people. In October 2014 in Houston, a rally against the Islamic State organized by the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) drew the grand total of ten people. In August 2013 in Boston, about 25 Muslims rallied against â€œmisperceptionsâ€ that Islam was violent. About the same number showed up in June 2013 at a progressive Muslim rally in Toronto to claim that their religion had been â€œhijacked.â€
And back in 2005, a group called the Free Muslims Coalition held what it dubbed a â€œFree Muslims March Against Terror,â€ intending to â€œsend a message to the terrorists and extremists that their days are numbered â€¦ and to send a message to the people of the Middle East, the Muslim world and all people who seek freedom, democracy and peaceful coexistence that we support them.â€ In the run-up to the event it got enthusiastic national and international publicity, but it ended up drawing about twenty-five people.
Contrast those paltry showings to the thousands of Muslims who have turned out for rallies against cartoons of Muhammad or against Israel. Here are some headlines from the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre of Muhammad cartoonists in January 2015:
But given a chance to show how Muslims overwhelmingly reject â€œextremism,â€ only a handful show up.
A Muslim peace march against Islamist extremism and terrorism in Cologne organized by prominent Muslim public figures was attended by a much smaller number of participants than expected. The organizers, however, are planning new actions.
The march, held under the slogan, â€œNot with us,â€ took place in the center of the German city of Cologne on Saturday and started at 13:00 local time (12:00 GMT). It was organized by a group of prominent German Muslim public figures, including Lamya Kaddor, an Islamic scholar and author, and Tarek Mohamad, a Muslim peace activist.
The event was supported by a number of major German Muslim associations, including the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD) and the German Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. However, the number of the rally participants turned out to be much smaller than expected.
The organizers initially said that some 10,000 were expected to join the march. Initial police reports suggested that from 200 to 300 people joined the procession when the march started. People continued to join the event, which lasted between three and four hours. The total number of participants eventually grew to around 1,000, the Rheinische Post daily reports.
Der Spiegel weekly reported that the organizers put the number of participants at between 3,000 and 3,500, adding that, according to police estimates, it could have reached 2,000.
The smaller number of rally participants did not escape attention of German politicians and media. â€œI find it regrettable that more journalists and police officers arrived today [in central Cologne] than demonstrators,â€ Michael Groschek, the head of the German Social Democratic Party office in the state of North Rhein Westphalia said, as cited by Focus magazineâ€¦