#JeSuisAhmed: The other hashtag trending after the Charlie Hebdo attack

The Man Behind Je Suis Charlie
The Man Behind Je Suis Charlie


By RYAN GORMAN

Muslims around the world have responded to the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag with one of their own -- #JeSuisAhmed.

The retort is in response to Paris police officer Ahmed Marabet being gunned down in the middle of the street by terrorists fleeing the office of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo following an attack that resulted in 10 employees being killed.

Marabet, himself a Muslim, was executed in broad daylight along with another cop after being wounded in a gun battle with shooters believed to be brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi.


The 42-year-old Muslim officer died at the hands of shooters killing in the name of Islam.

The majority of the world's attention has been focused on the 10 Charlie Hebdo staffers killed, allegedly by the Kouachi brothers, but the outraged Muslim minority in France has brought his plight to the forefront of social media.

#JeSuisAhmed has slowly gained steam and is now trending globally, with legions of non-Muslims tweeting the hashtag.

Attacks on mosques across France in the hours after the Charlie Hebdo assault have given greater importance to the hashtag.



France has Western Europe's largest Muslim population, but the growing demographic has an acrimonious relationship with the government.

The growing population has also found itself increasingly centered in what amount to Islamist mini-states, according to a Washington Times report.

"Islam is a permanent part of France now. It is not going away," Islam analyst Soeren kern, of the Gatestone Institute, told the paper. "I think the future looks very bleak. The problem is a lot of these younger-generation Muslims are not integrating into French society."

Younger Muslims in the country tend to be French citizens, but they have no real future in French society, Kern explained, leading them to become radicalized.

"They feel very alienated from France," Kern continued. "This is why radical Islam is so attractive because it gives them a sense of meaning in their life."

An April 2011 law which banned the wearing of burqas and niqabs in the country only served to further fuel the fire. The issue wound through appeals courts until being upheld in the European Court of Human Rights only seven months ago.

Burqas, which cover the entire body, and niqabs, a veil that covers the face with only a small opening for the eyes, are worn by many Muslim women as a show of their faith.

A subsequent Charlie Hebdo cartoon last year mocked Muslims by showing a naked woman running down the street with a burqa hanging from her anus.

"Yes, wear the burqa ... but only on the inside," the cover read.

Marabet died defending the free speech rights of a magazine that openly mocked his culture in the name of satire.

Most hashtag activism achieves little, but #JeSuisAhmed has become an effective vehicle for Muslims in France, and around the world, to express their frustrations.

#JeSuisAhmed may not change the world, but it could at least bring attention to the struggles of everyday Muslims in a country called "America's oldest ally" by U.S. President Barack Obama.

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