20 June 2018

#JeSuisAhmed Reminds Us That A French Muslim Died To Protect Free Speech

On the heels of #JeSuisCharlie, another Twitter hashtag is becoming a rallying point on social media for those mourning the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack --#JeSuisAhmed.

The hashtag memorializes Ahmed Merabet, the 42-year-old police officer who was shot point blank on a Parisian street by masked gunmen outside Charlie Hebdo’s offices. He was among 12 people who lost their lives in what is being called the deadliest terror attack on French soil in more than 50 years.

French authorities have yet to assign an official motive to the group but many say the attack was an extremist reaction to the magazine’s lampooning of the Prophet Muhammad and other religious figures.

In the aftermath, hundreds around the globe began tweeting out with the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie to stand in solidarity with the magazine.

But hours after the attack, Julien Casters, a magazine publisher living in Morocco, was thinking about Ahmed Merabet's sacrifice.

Casters wanted to make sure that people knew a French Muslim was also a victim of the attack.

According to the BBC, Casters was the first person to tweet out the hashtag, “#JeSuisAhmed.”