By Nishat Khan
On January 7th, 2015, just a week after the new year, where everyone hopes to have a better year than the last, a French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, was attacked by Muslim radicals as an act of terrorism. Why? Because of a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bad way. The attack shocked the world, but the people of France have proved themselves to be brave and have taken a stand against the terrorists through social media and rallies on the streets of Paris.
Currently, the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie has been trending on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other forms of social media, but there is an unsung hero, who is now getting recognition with the hashtag: #JeSuisAhmed.
Ahmed Merabet was a police officer assigned to a police station in the 11th Arrondissement. Merabet was at the shooting of Charlie Hebdo, and died trying to protect the freedom of speech.
Merabet’s death was captured on camera during a broadcast by a French television network, creating the hashtag #JeSuisAhmed. Word of the hashtag got around, especially when it was revealed that Merabet was a Muslim. This means that Merabet died at the hands of his own, in order to protect the right of Charlie Hebdo to criticize and ridicule his religion.
The price of freedom has become very costly, but Paris has not backed down. We are so focused on Charlie Hebdo and the price they paid for freedom of speech, but we are overlooking the other sacrifices made for the freedom of speech. Though these tragedies are terrifying, they should not faze us. They should only make us stronger because nous sommes tous Charlie et Ahmed.