Twitter users are urging people to blame the perpetrators of crimes, not Islam, for the Charlie Hebdo massacre Wednesday and other violent crimes with a new hashtag #RespectForMuslims.
The hashtag took off overnight, earning more than 206,000 tweets in the last day and is picking up steam quickly.
The movement encourages people to respect the followers of the religion and not align them with terrorists who share the same religion. It comes just a day after three men stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical news magazine that has published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, killing 12 people – eight journalists at the magazine, two officers, one maintenance worker, and a guest.
The hashtag is gaining popularity as a handful of French mosques are reporting violent reprisal attacks, including one Le Mans mosque that was hit with a grenade last night. There have been no reported injuries yet at the mosques, but all French houses of worship are reportedly on high alert.
Still others have begun identifying with one of the police officers – also Muslim – who was killed.