As the international community continues to mourn the deadly Paris attacks that killed 130 people, Muslims in Europe say they are facing a growing tide of discrimination.
But in the wake of the attacks, one group has decided to speak out.
The social media campaign, called ‘Not in my Name’ has united Muslims from around the world in the public condemnation of terrorism.
In South Yorkshire Sheffield, our reporter Yasser Ali Khan has more.
According to government statistics, more than 100 cases of racially motivated attacks and abuse have been reported against Muslims in the week after the Paris attacks.
Kabeer Khan, 31 is an accountant. He has also noticed that some people have treated him differently since the Paris attacks.
“Since these attacks on Paris, life has certainly changed, especially at work as well. I am obviously getting a variety of different mix race people giving me looks now,” says Khan, “When they talk about going on holidays they saying, 'OH Muslims that Muslims that.’ It makes me feel really uncomfortable. It didn’t used to be like this.”
Khan says he even thinks twice about going out with his family now, whether it will be worth all the looks and comments they will get.
On the street, for example, people have told him to “Go back where you came from”.
French citizen, 26 year old Bérangére Salomé is studying communications here in the UK.
Salomé says people are quick to blame Muslims, as though Muslims and terrorists are the same thing.
“Since what happened people tends to put Muslims in boxes and they blame all the Muslim community for terrorists,” explains Salome, “I don’t think it's fair because they have nothing to do with this. They are just innocent people who are as shocked as we are.”
That’s also the reason behind a new social media campaign that Muslims are using to speak out against terrorism.
It’s called “Not in My Name” and is the brainchild of Zahra Qadir and her colleagues at the London-based charity, the Active Change Foundation.
The attacks in Paris, and ISIS, Zahra says, do not represent Islam and people need to know.
“I know these people were not acting in the Islam. They were using Islam as mark to carry out these acts. I just felt something had to be said I couldn’t sit back,” she says, “We came up with the hashtag ‘Not in my name’ because its one thing you are not apologizing for what’s happened. Because you are completely saying what groups like ISIS doing is not in my name.”
The campaign has been endorsed by thousands of people from all over Europe who are posting pictures of themselves holding the message: “Not in My Name” on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Critics have said Muslims shouldn’t have to distinguish themselves from extremist ideology, but Afshan, a 27-year-old law student disagrees.
“When I saw this trending Not in My Name, I thought I had to take part,” says Afshan, “As Muslims, I should have to take responsibility for the actions of the minority who don’t even following the right perception of Islam. Islam does not tolerate violence in any way possible. It's is not in our name.”
And using social media, she says, is the fastest way to get the message across.
“If you get trending on twitter, Instagram and Facebook, people get the message a lot more faster,” she says, “Then they start looking into it, that it's not just reading the newspaper and just believing what they see in the newspaper.”
For the thousands of Muslims using the hashtag “Not in My Name,” simple messages can create real change.
Bagikan berita ini :