"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"
In the aftermath of the fatal Charlie Hebdo attack, reports reveal that one of the victims was himself a Muslim - Ahmed Merabet, one of the two cops gunned down.
But the way I see it Ahmed did not "protect people who mocked his religion" nor did he "die at the hands of one of his own". He protected freedom of speech and he died at the hands of people who do not deserve to be equated with him in any dimension. Ahmed is an epitome of humanity in all its glory and there could be no worse insult to his memory than defining him as "one of them" in ANY way. This is what is wrong with the world - people are NOT defined by their religion. Nor by their personal beliefs. Nor by the country they were born into. People are defined by their actions, by how they represent those beliefs and what they give back to the world.
I implore the world to stop using this as another reason to strengthen the walls that separate people from different faiths - but instead, to use this as an opportunity to celebrate this man, who refused to see us as anything but humans.
In the hours following the deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, much of the public support has been directed toward the victims that worked for the magazine. The recognition of their ultimate sacrifice in the name of free speech and open discourse is beautiful, but it's equally important to remember that the lives of the victims extended beyond the confines of the magazine. Two of those killed, 42-year-old Ahmed Merabet and 49-year-old Franck Brinsolaro, were police officers — the very people tasked with protecting Charlie Hebdo's staff. Merabet's death was captured on film during a French television broadcast and shared quickly across social media. Two masked gunmen can be seen approaching him, ignoring his pleas to spare his life. Merabet was himself Muslim.