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#IamNotCharlie Trends on Twitter Despite Mass Condemnation of Paris Attack

© REUTERS / Nacho DocePeople participate in a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting, by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, at Paulista avenue in Sao Paulo, January 7, 2015
People participate in a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting, by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, at Paulista avenue in Sao Paulo, January 7, 2015 - Sputnik International
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A movement #JeSuisNoCharlie or #IAmNotCharlie is trending on Twitter since the very day of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy - for reasons other than support of the attack.

MOSCOW, January 14 (Sputnik) — The attack on the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo led to many expressing their support for freedom of speech or sympathy for the deceased journalists by using the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie or #IAmCharlie on social networking sites, however a seemingly contrary movement #JeSuisNoCharlie or #IAmNotCharlie is also trending on Twitter since the very day of the tragedy — for reasons other than support of the attack.

The #IamNotCharlie hashtag first appeared on Twitter on January 7 – the day when three masked gunmen attacked Charlie Hebdo office killing ten staff and two policemen. A week later, the "not Charlie" hashtag, while much less popular than the #IAmCharlie, has not only not disappeared but has become more widespread.

Parisians Carrying Charlie Hebdo Cartoons March Against Terrorism - Sputnik International
Parisians Carrying Charlie Hebdo Cartoons March Against Terrorism
"#JeSuisCharlie vs. #IamNotCharlie — which side are you on?," Erica Pitzim the reporter of Al Jazeere America wrote on Twitter Wednesday. The question is hard to answer for many, as for most "not Charlie" is not "anti Charlie" and many of those using it still mourn the French journalists – yet do not share the magazine's understanding of satire.

"I am against ALL murder but #IamNOTcharlie I am not #Islamophobic Why must we defend their #hatespeech in order to offer our sympathies?," @AtlPalestine AtlantaPalestine.org – an online resource "for all Palestine solidarity activities and organizations in Atlanta and the Southeast" — wrote on January 7.

Those using the #IamNotCharlie hashtag say they do not support the attack on the magazine or terrorism in general. However, most of them believe that the satiric cartoons published in Charlie Hebdo magazine misinterpret and abuse freedom of expression and are of genuinely racist character.

"Stereotypes that demonize an entire community isn't satire, it's racism. Can we mourn w/o supporting racism?," Sonny Sigh @brooklynsigh wrote on Wednesday.

Saorise Eireann, @TomBarry1921 agrees, stating that "#CharlieHebdo cartoons are no different to the racist anti-Irish cartoons going back centuries."

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Another common reason cited for using the "not Charlie" hashtag is a belief that a society that goes on marches to commemorate ten deceased French journalists while paying little or no attention to mass killings outside the Western world is biased. Many complain that there were no mass demonstrations against what is believed to be the worst massacre in the history of Boko Haram and resulted in loss of some 2,000 lives in Nigeria last week.

"Meanwhile in other news: #Nigeria massacre deadliest in history of Boko Haram — 2,000 people killed," @AndreyPanevin wrote on January 10, using the "not Charlie" hashtag.

"Quick reminder: +110 days without water +550 days siege +200 died in #Yarmouk that's real terrorism!," Aya Chebbi, @aya_chebbi wrote on January, 8 referring to the situation in the Yarmouk camp hosting Palestinian refugees in Syria.

Last week's attacks in the French capital, targeting the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket, claimed the lives of 17 people. All three gunmen, the first two reportedly trained by al-Qaeda in Yemen and the third a purported supporter of Islamic State, were killed in two separate police raids. On January 11, more than 3 million people took to the streets in cities across France to participate in a unity march in support of the magazine, free speech and to commemorate the dead.

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