The brother of the Paris officer who was killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack is speaking out, saying that the terrorists are ‘false Muslims,’ and pleading with people not to make the mistake of equating all Muslims with terrorists. Meanwhile, his brother has sparked a meme and become a hero.
The police officer killed in the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices was a Muslim man named Ahmed Merabet. Memes have sprung up celebrating the officer, by people who say that, while they don’t support the murders, they also do not support Charlie Hebdo, a magazine they say promoted racism and intolerance.
Instead, they say, they prefer to identify with the slain officer, who died protecting Charlie’s right to publish cartoons mocking his own religion.
I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so. #JesuisAhmed
— Dyab Abou Jahjah (@Aboujahjah) January 8, 2015
Cette photo résume absolument tout #JeSuisCharlie pic.twitter.com/g9OfSXgJ7v””
— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) January 8, 2015
Now, Ahmed’s brother is speaking out, saying to honor the slain officer by keeping peace, and by identifying Muslims with the Paris officer who died protecting others’ rights, rather than the terrorists fighting to take those rights.
The Guardian reports that Malek Merabet, the brother of Paris officer Ahmed Merabet, spoke Saturday in a tribute available below. He spoke of his brother, and of being a Muslim, and of Islamaphobia.
He called the attackers ‘false Muslims,’ and the attack an act of barbarism, and his brother’s death a waste.
My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims. Islam is a religion of peace and love. As far as my brother’s death is concerned it was a waste. He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity.
Since the attack, Muslims in Paris have not had an easy time. Mosques have been firebombed, and anti-Muslim cartoons have flooded papers. In Ahmed’s name, Malek asks that people remember the officer rather than the terrorists, and not to ‘tar everyone with the same brush.’
[D]on’t burn mosques – or synagogues. You are attacking people. It won’t bring our dead back and it won’t appease the families.
The Paris officer was the first on the scene, and died, his brother says, pleading for mercy.