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ISIS Does Not Represent Me or My Religion

Marwa Abudlhai, right, with her sisterMarwa Abudlhai, right, with her sister
Marwa Abudlhai, right, with her sisterPhotography Courtesy of Marwa Abudlhai

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks on Friday, there has been an array of mixed responses from the public. Many have changed their profile pictures on Facebook to show their solitary with France at this time while others are questioning why the millions who perished in Beirut, Syria, and Palestine combined have not received as much attention and empathy.

But what many do not have to deal with as a result of these attacks is a deep concern for their own safety. The fear in many Muslim’s minds in America is how to deal with the impending backslash and hate in the wake of ISIS declaring its supposed responsibility for the attacks. 9/11 turned the world upside down for all Muslims in the home they call America – there was no doubt that the attacks on Paris would do the same. The social media response has already begun as many have began to blame Muslims for the terror events in Paris, even going to the extent of blaming it all on the Refugee Crisis.

The now revived hashtag #NotInMyName was created in 2014 by a group of young Muslims in east London after the murders of two British aid workers, Alan Henning and David Haines, by Islamic State terrorists. It has expanded in its role to remind the world that the Islamic State does not represent the true essence of Islam and the majority opinion of the Muslim population around the globe. Using the hashtag #NotInMyName, Muslim Twitter users have expressed their grief with Parisians all the while expressing their disbelief that such terror attacks are being, once again, attributed to their faith and religion. Rather than apologizing for the religion and carrying the burden of such accusations, they are taking back their image as Muslims from such terrorist groups to vocalize the true essence of Islam.

But what is quite saddening is the fact that many Muslims have to come to such desperate measures to announce to the world for the hundredth time that ISIS does not define them and that they need to express sympathy for any attack that takes the lives of innocents.

And some… still. don’t. get. it.

I guess we’ll just keep tweeting?

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