Muslims appalled by the Paris attacks are turning to social media

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The city of Paris fell silent Monday as people gathered to pay their respects with a minute of silence honoring the victims of Friday night's terror attacks. Many assembled at the Bataclan Theater, the scene of the highest number of casualties where three attackers massacred at least 89 people before blowing themselves up or being shot by police. CNN spoke to some of those who attended the tribute in front of the music venue. "I feel sad, but not surprised," said Anthony Kenigsberg. "Daesh (another name for ISIS) threatened France, we knew this would happen eventually. I am proud of the French people, and especially of the Muslim community and how everyone stands united. "Only this time, this unity must last, unlike after the Charlie Hebdo attacks. We are united in solidarity and tolerance."

(CNN) — As the terrorist attacks erupted in Paris, people throughout the world mourned with France, and appalled Muslims turned to social media using the hashtag #NotInMyName.

Shehnaz Khan, a journalist in London, tweeted, “Whoever kills an innocent person, it is as though he has killed all of mankind.” She was one of many people to share this verse from the Quran.

“I don’t see ISIS as Muslim. I see terrorists when I look at ISIS,” Philistine Ayad, a Muslim feminist, told CNN. “To me, terror knows no religion. They are picking and choosing aspects of the religion and twisting and distorting them in order to justify their actions that are unjustifiable.”

Ayad, who was born in the United States, says she feels very Westernized. However, she says it hurts when she wears her hijab, the scarf worn around her head, in public and hears muttering about her religion from onlookers.

She hopes the #NotInMyName campaign will help remove Islamophobia from Western culture.

“I want there to be an understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims and a sense of communal sympathy for the victims of terrorists, but not descending into Islamophobia. If the #NotInMyName campaign can help expel some of that Islamophobia and expel some of my fear … then that would be wonderful,” she said.

Ayad is also expressing her views through art. A drawing she posted to Twitter in the aftermath of the attacks portrays Ayad carrying all the weights that she believes terrorists have created. She feels that fingers are pointing at her just because she is Muslim.

Dania Saltagi is speaking out because she is upset that terrorists are continuing to deface her religion and her reputation.

“Using #NotInMyName is a way for me to not only condemn the terrorist attacks, but to also spread the message that ISIS does not represent Islam. It is a way for me to have a voice and break stereotypes, rather than stay silent,” she told CNN.

Being a student in an American university, Saltagi says she is immersed in Western culture. She says was raised Muslim and taught principles of love, compassion and peace.

“The message that I want to spread is that the very small percentage of extremists committing these murders do not represent the rest of the 1.6 billion Muslims who absolutely condemn killing and violence,” Saltagi says.

Along with numerous other Muslims, Ayad and Saltagi continue to participate in the campaign.

“#NotInMyName means that we are taking that power back, to represent ourselves to what we truly are and that is peaceful people,” Ayad says.

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1 Comment

  • Chris

    The majority of Muslims are good, the majority of Christians are good. Both share the same thing, requiring intangible emotional solice.

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