It is still unclear who exactly is responsible for the horrific Paris attacks that resulted in the death of more than 100 people, but the Islamic extremist group ISIS has taken to Twitter to claim credit for the acts of terrorism, at least in part. While many people are using the Paris attacks as an opportunity to bring up issues of gun control and anti-Islamic sentiments, many Muslims around the world have spoken out in strong condemnation of the terrorist regime, standing up for a religion that they believe is not one of violence.
According to AFP, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani released an official statement in response to the Paris attacks, describing them as a “crimes against humanity.”
“In the name of the Iranian people, who have themselves been victims of terrorism, I strongly condemn these crimes against humanity and offer my condolences to the grieving French people and government.”
Rouhani also claimed that the Paris attacks should be used to provoke international cooperation, rather than more violence and unrest.
According to USA Today, Rouhani was only one of many Muslim leaders to speak out in opposition to the Paris attacks, further helping to quell the prevalent belief that even Muslims who don’t participate in terrorism still support the attacks. Shuja Shafi, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, condemned the Paris attacks as “abhorrent” and claimed they had nothing to do with Islam.
“This attack is being claimed by the group calling themselves ‘Islamic State’. There is nothing Islamic about such people and their actions are evil, and outside the boundaries set by our faith.”
Tariq Ramadan, a Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford, agreed with Shafi that the Paris attacks can not be justified by the Islamic faith. He posted a lengthy message to his Facebook page explaining how the world should react to the Paris attacks by joining forces; and that the Muslims living in Paris should be part of the solution, not considered alien “objects” to be feared or analyzed.
— Tariq Ramadan (@TariqRamadan) November 14, 2015
Indonesian president Joko Widodo also condemned the Paris attacks and shared the belief that the proper response is international cooperation and unity.
But major world leaders and well-respected Muslim teachers are not the only ones calling the Paris attacks horrific. Many Muslim citizens from countries all around the world shared their love and support for those who suffered from the Paris attacks.
— Mansoor Ahmad Clarke (@mansoor_clarke) November 14, 2015
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
— مُتعجب (@Moha_Alruwaili) November 14, 2015
— محمد نعامه (@midonama) November 14, 2015
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
I am an American Muslim and I apologize for the terrorist attacks in Paris. That is not Islam. ISLAM IS PEACE.
— Cait (@Hijabicait) November 14, 2015
One young Muslims joined the world leaders in saying that the Paris attacks do not reflect the true values of the Islamic faith.
Another Muslim YouTube user made a video condemning the Paris attacks and calling out people from across the world for accusing all Muslims for being terrorists. After the Paris attacks took place, he claims he couldn’t even play a simple online game without finding people looking for Muslims to blame for the recent murders. (Language warning.)
Of course, despite so many individuals speaking out against the violence of the Paris attacks, many others have continued to cite Islam as the source of the problem, according to the Washington Post. Several celebrities have received backlash over comments making light of the Paris attacks such as Rob Lowe and James Woods.
What do you think? Should the Paris attacks be attributed to Islam? Or are the terrorists acting outside of the teachings of the Muslim faith?
[Photos by Mike Hewitt, Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images]