Charlie Hebdo gunmen were 'false Muslims' says brother of slain policeman


"Islam is a religion of peace and love. As far as my brother's death is concerned it was a waste," the brother of Ahmed Merabet who was killed in Paris last Wednesday, has said.

"My brother was Muslim and he was killed by two terrorists, by two false Muslims," Malek Merabek said on Saturday. "He was very proud of the name Ahmed Merabet, proud to represent the police and of defending the values of the Republic – liberty, equality, fraternity."

Speaking on behalf of relatives of those who died in the killings last week, Malek implored France not to "confuse extremists with Muslims".

"I address myself now to all the racists, Islamophobes and antisemites...Mad people have neither colour or religion," he said.

"I want to make another point: don't tar everybody with the same brush, don't burn mosques – or synagogues. You are attacking people. It won't bring our dead back and it won't appease the families."

Ahmed Merabet, 42, was on patrol in the area surrounding the Charlie Hebdo offices at the time of the shooting on January 7. He was at the scene as the gunmen left and was killed.

Video footage revealed that Merabet was first shot in the groin and fell to the ground. He raised one arm, possibly in surrender, then had a brief exchange with the gunmen before being fatally shot at point-blank range.

As social media users around the world united with the hashtag #JesuisCharlie, one man's tweet quickly went viral:

Following last week's harrowing events, there has been a push to encourage the French not to conflate Islam with the radical ideology followed by Jihadists.

"Vengeance and hatred directed at Muslims as a whole serves Islamic fundamentalists well," wrote Owen Jones for the Guardian.

"They want Muslims to feel hated, targeted and discriminated against, because it increases the potential well of support for their cause. Already, there are multiple reports of attacks in France against mosques, and even a 'criminal explosion' in a kebab shop. These are not just disgraceful, hateful acts. Those responsible are sticking to the script of the perpetrators. They are themselves de facto recruiting sergeants for terrorists."

Concerns about future attacks on Jewish people in France have also been raised, after the events of last week included a gunman taking hostages in a kosher supermarket. Four of them were killed in the incident.

In an effort to step up protections, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 700 police officers would be stationed at all 717 Jewish schools across the country, in addition to over 4,000 gendarmes already deployed.

"Synagogues, Jewish schools, but also mosques will be protected because in the past few days there have been a number of attacks against mosques," Prime Minister Manuel Valls told BFM TV.