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Paris Attacks: Muslims Use #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist Twitter Hashtag To Counter Prejudice

14/11/2015 13:20 GMT | Updated 14/11/2015 14:59 GMT

Muslims around the world are making a passionate stand against anti-Islam prejudice in the wake of the devastating terrorist attacks in Paris.

At least 127 people have been killed in a a bombing and shooting spree in the French capital which Islamic State have claimed responsibility for.

Many people pounced on the opportunity to condemn all Muslims for the acts of violence and denounce the religion as evil.

Soon the hashtag #MuslimsAreNotTerrorist began to trend as Muslims sought to counter the poisonous sentiment.

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • At least 127 dead, and fears death toll could be around 140
  • At least five locations targeted in suicide bombings and shootings
  • Around 80 slain at Bataclan concert theatre after hostage situation
  • Restaurants, football stadium attacked in night of horror
  • Police leave cancelled and around 1,500 soldiers mobilised
  • French border controls increased, state of emergency declared
  • Eight extremists killed, all attackers thought to be dead
  • Manhunt under way for accomplices
  • David Cameron to chair meeting of Government Cobra committee

Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the attacks but the brand of Islam they preach is a far cry from that practised by the huge majority of the world's 1.57 billion Muslims.

The rise of Islamic State was influenced by a particular strand of Islam called Wahabbism, an ultra-conservative strand of Islam.

Yet Wahabbism's view of other branches of Islam demonstrate just how wrong it is to tar all Muslims with the same brush as Islamic State.

Alastair Crooke, author and former MI6 agent, wrote in The World Post...

"One of the main tenets of [founder of Wahabbism] Abd al-Wahhab's doctrine has become the key idea of takfir. Under the takfiri doctrine, Abd al-Wahhab and his followers could deem fellow Muslims infidels should they engage in activities that in any way could be said to encroach on the sovereignty of the absolute Authority (that is, the King). Abd al-Wahhab denounced all Muslims who honored the dead, saints, or angels. He held that such sentiments detracted from the complete subservience one must feel towards God, and only God. Wahhabi Islam thus bans any prayer to saints and dead loved ones, pilgrimages to tombs and special mosques, religious festivals celebrating saints, the honoring of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad's birthday, and even prohibits the use of gravestones when burying the dead."

"Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity -- a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all."

The attacks have also been widely condemned by Islamic figures around the world.

Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, described the attacks as a "crime against humanity".

He added: "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."

The president of Indonesia and leaders of numerous Arab states also condemned the violence.

Faith leader, Sayed Mahdi al-Modarresi, wrote in a blog for The Huffington Post UK last year: "Islam is a religion of peace to 99.99% of Muslims, and trying to prove otherwise can only make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"This was a mistake committed by politicians and the media, both of whom stand to profit from a sensationalized and alarmist rhetoric. Imam Ali, the Prophet's successor and closest confidante is famous for enacting a law that said "whoever harms a believer in the Bible, harms me."

paris

Young women have formed the word Paris with candles to mourn for the victims killed in Friday's attacks in Paris, France, in front of the French Embassy in Berlin

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