By Matt Wilstein | MediaITE

In the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, #JeSuisCharlie (or “I am Charlie”) became the rallying cry of solidarity on social media. But today, a new hashtag started to spread: #JeSuisAhmed, honoring Ahmed Merabet, one of the two police officers killed in the attack who just happened to be Muslim.

The first tweet came from a French magazine publisher living in Morocco named Julien Casters, who told the BBC Trending blog:

“I decided to start the #jesuisahmed hashtag to remember that a French Muslim was also a victim of the attack. It is a snub to the stigmatisation of Islam and a reminder that Muslims in France are not all Islamist radicals. It seemed important to try to unite two years before the presidential elections in France, since the only ones to benefit from these terrorist acts are the extreme right political parties.”
— LostinCasa (@JulesLmeghribi) January 7, 2015

Merabet died defending the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists’ right to make fun of his religion, a fact that was highlighted by the many Twitter tributes to the fallen officer on Thursday. While many who tweeted using the hashtag said they would not have published the cartoons found in the pages of the magazine, they, like Merabet, would defend their right to do so:


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