The Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) refused to participate in an anti-terrorism march organized by some Muslim activists based on the grounds that it confines international terrorism to Muslims only.
"Calls for 'Muslim' anti-terror demos fall short, stigmatize Muslims, and confine international terrorism to being just among them, and within their communities and mosques," DITIB said in a statement, adding that it is a "false way and a false signal."
The statement went on to say that the march primarily has a political purpose, rather than expressing the will of the Muslims.
DITIB emphasized that fighting terrorism is a common responsibility regardless of one's religion, saying that Muslims cannot sort out terror by themselves.
It also suggested the event was "not well thought out," saying it was unreasonable for organizers to expect fasting Muslims to march through Cologne on a day that's expected to see temperatures of 25°C.
On Friday, DITIB will hold its own prayer at all of its mosques nationwide for peace and against terrorism.
Another major umbrella group, the Islamic Council (Islamrat), which includes the second-largest German Islamic organization, Milli Görüş, among its 37 member groups, reportedly has also refused to participate in the rally.
The Cologne-based Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, usually referred to as DİTİB, is one of the largest Islamic organizations in Germany. DITIB was founded in 1984 as a branch of Turkey's Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB, better known as Diyanet).