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I started off this blog trying to explain my view point on the whole Charlie Hebdo fiasco. After writing the whole blog I decided not to post it for a few reasons: 1) I am exhausted of explaining my ideologies on this particular event. 2) This event has shed a colossal amount of negativity on the religion of Islam. Writing the blog would've gave the "extremist thugs" and "bigots" around the world more attention than needed. I rather focus on the positive aspects of Islam.

It got me thinking about every Muslim and non-Muslim born after 2001 and how they have been exposed to Islam in the mainstream media. It has been put under a microscope, with extreme criticism by non experts of the religion. Having said that when an event like the Paris shootings occur many Muslims find themselves living in fear. Women second guessing whether or not they want to put on the hijab; or on the other end women taking off their hijab in fear that they will be targeted in a hate crime. We also have men shaving their beards so they are not easily recognized. My dear Muslim brothers and sisters, during these difficult times we need to stand in solidarity with each other and be proud of who we are and what we believe in. Islam did not start when 9/11 took place and nor did it start when the Paris shootings took place. Islam has been around for over 1400 years, and we shall not forget the amazing contributions Muslims have made, that make society function today.

1) The worlds first University was created by two Muslim women: Fatima and Mariam al-Firhi in Fez, Morocco known as Al-Qarawiyyin.

2) Medicine was a huge contribution by Muslims. The Ahmed ibn Tulun hospital in Egypt in 1872 was one of the earliest hospitals to give care to the mentally ill. Furthermore, a surgeon by the name of Al-Zaharawi also known as the "Father of Surgery" created an encyclopedia, which would be used by European surgeons for the next 500 years.

3) Muslims gave a wealth of knowledge when it came to science. Whether it was astronomy or chemistry the advances are remarkable. The invention of the basic process and apparatuses are still being used today by chemists.  Ibn Firnas a Muslim engineer in the 9th century had an idea to create a "flying machine," which became known as the worlds first aviation.

I haven't even scratched the surface of Muslim contributions, but these are just a few highlights. My point to stating all of these facts is to remember, that we have a beautiful religion and the followers of that religion weren't "barbaric" or "terrorists" but rather intellects and contributing members to society. So I am not going to say Je Suis Charlie but rather Je Suis Muslim. I am a proud Muslim woman who will not live in fear.


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