After #JeSuisCharlie it is #JeSuisAhmed: Tribute pours in on Twitter for Muslim cop who died in Paris attack

A day after the Twitterati claimed that they were Charlie, by getting #JeSuisCharlie to trend worldwide, another Twitter hashtag is becoming a rallying point on social media for those mourning the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. This time it is #JeSuisAhmed.

The last of the 12 victims slain in the terror attack on the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo was a police officer — the son of immigrants from mainly Muslim North Africa — who was shot dead on the sidewalk by one of the assailants as they started their getaway.

Ahmed Merabet. Image from Twitter

Ahmed Merabet. Image from Twitter

Police officials identified him as Ahmed Merabet. In a graphic video, one of the gunmen in the Paris attack can be seen shooting Merabet in the head as he lies wounded on the ground, his hands in the air.

As details about his death became known, a campaign of solidarity quickly caught fire on social media Thursday, using the hashtag, "#JeSuisAhmed" — I Am Ahmed. That echoed the campaign of support for the satirical newspaper that spread widely after the attack, using the slogan "#JeSuisCharlie."

This tweet from writer and activist Dyab Abou Jahjah set the hashtag #JeSuisAhmed on fire.

Here are the tweets that followed:

A journalist also pointed out that Ahmed is one of the Prophet Mohammed's names. The same prophet who the gunmen allegedly sought to avenge.

Merabet also drew attention at the United Nations.

"He himself was a Muslim," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters. "This is yet another reminder of what we are facing together. It should never be seen as a war of religion, for religion, or on religion. It is an assault on our common humanity, designed to terrify and incite."

French news reports gave varying ages for Merabet, though the police union to which he belonged said he was in his 30s. He reportedly had eight years of police service, and was assigned to the neighbourhood where Wednesday's attack occurred.

Video footage taken by an onlooker that surfaced on the Internet after the attack appeared to show a wounded Merabet on the pavement, raising a hand as though appealing for mercy before he was fatally shot in the head by one of the three gunmen. During their attack on the newspaper office, the assailants had shouted "Allahu akbar!" — Arabic for "God is great!" — and police were investigating their possible ties to a Yemen-based terrorist group.

Merabet was "very discreet and conscientious," police union spokesman Rocco Contento told the newspaper Le Figaro. "We're all extremely shocked."

Merabet's home town, the suburb of Livry-Gargan in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, announced Thursday that he and the other victims would be commemorated at a ceremony Sunday at the city hall.

With inputs from Associated Press

Updated Date: Jan 09, 2015 17:23 PM

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