NEWS

Montreal Muslim says Ottawa, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu attacks "not in my name"

10/25/2014 01:45 EDT | Updated 12/25/2014 05:59 EST
One Quebec Muslim teenager’s message has gone viral after he posted a photo of himself holding a sign that reads “pas en monnom” – “not in my name” – in response to this week’s killing of two soldiers in separate attacks in Ottawa and St-Jean-sur-Richelieu.

Ali Chebli, 17, is a business student at Collège Maisonneuve, and he's a Muslim of Lebanese descent.

In the text underneath the photo, he writes, "I'm a Muslim and I'm against ISIS. My mission is to fight against hate speech and the actions of jihadists."

Since posting it on Wednesday, his message has been shared almost 800,000 times. Now, he’s hoping to hit one million shares.

His popularity "a surprise"

The business student at Collège Maisonneuve did not think his Facebook page would ever go viral.

“I’m happy people liked it,” he told CBC's French-language network, Radio-Canada, “But what’s more important is that people agree with the message.”

Chebli says his message was in response to hateful remarks on the internet. He insists people shouldn’t make a connection between terrorism and Islam.

“I’m just a regular person. Like I said on my page, I wake up every morning, I go to school, I come home, I have dinner, I do my homework. I’m not on the street saying, ‘I am a Muslim, I read the Quran.'”

Since sharing his message, he’s received a lot of support from other Montreal Muslims.

“His approach is very brave,” said Soumayya, a fellow student at Collège Maisonneuve. “I think it’s great that so many voices come together in a single project.”

Following this social media success, Chebli is now considering other campaigns to change attitudes around Islam.

“Everyone should create small movements, because it’s small things that create great results.”

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