'We're just as shocked' - Muslim messages going viral after the Paris attacks

Screenshot of video by "Pakistani Comedians" condemning the Paris attacks Image copyright Facebook/Pakistani Comedians
Image caption A video message from a group of Pakistani men has been viewed more than 2.5 million times on Facebook

Muslims around the world have been uploading videos and messages to condemn the attacks in the French capital.

As a clear picture emerged of the multiple attacks in Paris on Friday night, more than 90,000 people, many of them Muslim, revived the hashtag "Not in my name" which first emerged last year to denounce extremism that had been justified in the name of Islam. Hundreds of thousands have also used the tag "Muslims Are Not Terrorists".

But beyond this there were many personal messages from different parts of the world. Here are a few.

Pakistanis say: "We're just as shocked and horrified"

In a viral video from Pakistan, five young men say that they are not going to be "apologetic" about the Paris attacks and "cannot be held responsible for a few deranged individuals who somehow claim to be like us". They explain how they are no different from people elsewhere in the world: they get annoyed when they don't get their morning coffee and "the only thing they slice and roast is a gooooood piece of juicy steak".

But as John Lennon's Imagine plays in the background, they add in all seriousness: "We're the same people as you. We have the same fundamental problems as you have. We have the same hopes, dreams and ambitions as you." They say they can understand what the French are going through - last year, 132 schoolchildren were killed by the Taliban in Pakistan, prompting an outpouring of outrage and sorrow.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The hashtag #NotinMyName has been mentioned more than 90,000 times since Friday

The five refer to Muslims as the "biggest victims of terrorism". They go on to say that "it is easy to blame the refugees" in Europe for the attacks, but they are also "running away from the same people carrying out these attacks".

Singaporean says ISIS "Islam's biggest enemy"

A Singaporean Muslim's Facebook post was addressed to those Muslims who he feels are too quick to disavow any connection between the Islamic State and Islam. "ISIS is Islam's biggest enemy, not the US, not Israel or France or Germany or the Russians," wrote Sulaiman Daud in a status shared nearly 40,000 times. "We have to own the problem. We have to admit that this is a religious problem, and we need to renew our commitment to a secular country which treats all religions equally."

"ISIS is a problem for Muslims. And if you can't admit that, you're not really a good Muslim either," he wrote.

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Muslim in Paris asks: "I trust you, do you trust me?"

A video of a blindfolded Muslim man in Paris asking for hugs from strangers has also gone viral. It seems that several people filmed the man, but the version uploaded by a programme which airs on Russia's international broadcaster RT has gotten the most hits. "I am a Muslim, but I am told I am a terrorist. I trust you, do you trust me? If yes, HUG ME," say the signs seen in the video which has been viewed more than 11 million times on Facebook and YouTube.

Image copyright Facebook/IntheNowRT
Image caption The video says the event took place at the Place de la Republique, streets away from the site of Friday's attacks

Later in the video, the man, who remains unidentified, explains his message: "I deeply feel for all of the victims' families... A terrorist is a terrorist, someone willing to kill another human being over nothing. A Muslim would never do that. Our religion forbids it."

"Silence is our biggest weakness"

Several other messages, from both Muslims and non-Muslims, have warned against the danger of anti-Muslim prejudice rising. Earlier this week, a video purported to show London Muslims celebrating the Paris attacks - but it turned out to be footage after a cricket win in 2009.

On Tuesday, a man from London wrote about helping a woman on the tube who was wearing the hijab and was harassed about how "her people" murdered the Paris attack victims. "What happened in Paris this weekend was an atrocity. What happens every day in the Middle East is an atrocity. And the only way to move forward and to recover is in solidarity as one people who won't be terrorised," he said in his Facebook status, liked more than 35,000 times. "Silence is our biggest weakness. We need to start speaking up and defending each other."

Another message shared widely has been a post by Australian musician Darren Hanlon about his conversation with this Muslim Uber driver "whose religion is being taken from him". Hanlon wrote about their discussion: "He quoted Koran verses often brandished by fundamentalists, robbed of their ancient historical context. We mourned the victims in Paris. We mourned the young martyrs whose minds have been brainwashed."

Blog by Samiha Nettikkara

Additional reporting by Aditi Mallya

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