Muslims and their supporters took to social media last night and this morning to condemn the deadly terror attacks in Paris and reiterate the difference between Islam and extremist dogma.
As news about the shootings trickled out, an eyewitness said that one of the perpetrators had yelled “Allahu Akbar,” (“God is great” in Arabic), before firing into a crowd at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris. Just before noon local time, French President François Hollande said the Islamic State was responsible for the deaths and called the attack an “act of war.”
Gunmen were heard shouting 'Allahu Akbar' but I did the same tonight, in my room, praying for those killed & their families #Paris
— Ayisha Malik (@Ayisha_Malik) November 14, 2015
— Tariq Ramadan (@TariqRamadan) November 14, 2015
Yet there was still an immediate backlash on Twitter, with some people – including high-profile public figures – subtly or not so subtly shifting the blame for terrorism to immigrants, refugees and Muslims more broadly.
Oh, NOW France closes its borders. #Hollande
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) November 13, 2015
How does one say "DREAMERS" in French? — Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) November 14, 2015
The phrase “terrorism has no religion” started trending on Twitter within several hours of the attack. (The image below comes from artist Jean Jullien.)
terrorism has NO religion terrorism has NO religion terrorism has NO religion terrorism has NO religion terrorism has NO religion
— ♔ (@Mrsmalik_8) November 14, 2015
Others pointed out the lack of logic in blaming refugees, Muslims broadly, or other victims of terror.
There are over one billion Muslims in the world. If they were all terrorists, everyone would be dead by now. Muslims are not terrorists. — زين مالك (@solozjm) November 14, 2015
To people blaming refugees for attacks in Paris tonight. Do you not realise these are the people the refugees are trying to run away from..? — Dan Holloway (@RFCdan) November 13, 2015
Do you see other responses we should include? Share them with me on Twitter @AnaSwanson.