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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel waits for the arrival of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for talks at the chancellery in Berlin, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014

    Merkel, Top German Officials to Take Part in March for Tolerance in Berlin

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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other prominent German politicians are expected to attend a rally for an 'open and tolerant' Germany to send a strong message against anti-Islam sentiment on the rise in the country.

    MOSCOW, January 12 (Sputnik) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel, along with members of her cabinet, is expected to attend a rally for an “open and tolerant” Germany, AFP reports, citing Georg Streiter, a government spokesman.

    The event will be held at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Tuesday under a banner "Let's be there for each other. Terror: not in our names!". It is organized by the Central Council of Muslims in Germany and the Turkish Community of Berlin.

    "We Muslims in Germany condemn the despicable terror attacks in France in the strongest terms," the organizers said, as quoted by AFP. "There is no justification in Islam for such acts."

    Angela Merkel will be joined by Sigmar Gabriel, Germany's vice chancellor, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the country’s foreign minister, Thomas de Maiziere, the interior minister, and German Justice Minister Heiko Maas, according to Deutsche Welle. Other prominent politicians are expected to attend.

    On Sunday, Merkel took part in the Paris unity march commemorating the victims of terrorist attacks that rocked France last week, including an assault on Charlie Hebdo, a satirical magazine. Over 3 million people reportedly gathered on the streets of the French capital.

    The rally was headed by some 40 heads of state and high-ranking politicians, including French President Francois Hollande, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. The Russian delegation was led by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    The event in Berlin will also send a strong message against anti-Islam and anti-immigration sentiment currently on the rise in Germany.

    "Those who use racist and Islamophobic slogans strengthen the rabble-rousers, inciters of hatred and terrorists," the organizers said, referring to weekly anti-Islam and anti-immigration marches in Dresden. The protests, currently attracting thousands of participants, are spearheaded by the Patriotic Europeans against the Islamification of the West (PEGIDA).

    PEGIDA will stage a similar event later on Monday, according to a post on its official Facebook account. Participants are expected to hold a minute of silence for those, who lost their lives in the recent deadly attacks in France.

    "If the organisers had a shred of decency they would simply cancel these demonstrations," Maas told daily Bild, as quoted by AFP. "It is simply disgusting how the people behind these protests are trying to exploit the despicable crimes in Paris."

    However, demonstrations against PEGIDA marches are gaining momentum. Approximately 35,000 people took to the streets of Dresden on Saturday to protest against the movement, according to Deutsche Welle.

    Parisians Carrying Charlie Hebdo Cartoons March Against Terrorism

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    Tags:
    tolerance, extremism, terrorism, rally, PEGIDA, Angela Merkel, Heiko Maas, Germany, Berlin
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