#JeSuisAhmed Trends As France Unites Behind Murdered Muslim Policeman

    #JeSuisAhmed began to trend on Twitter last night.

    This is the French policeman Ahmed Merabet, who was brutally murdered by the gunmen who attacked Charlie Hebdo two days ago.

    Colleagues pay tribute to Muslim officer shot at point blank range in #CharlieHebdo attack. http://t.co/L92Qno9sDm

    A horrifying video posted to Facebook and later removed showed the gunmen killing him as he lay prone on the floor.

    Shortly after the attack, #JeSuisCharlie began to trend as social media users expressed solidarity with the victims, but now a new hashtag has begun.

    The overlooked hero who died defending @Charlie_Hebdo_ right to mock his religion. #JeSuisAhmed

    This tweet has received over 18,000 retweets.

    I am not Charlie, I am Ahmed the dead cop. Charlie ridiculed my faith and culture and I died defending his right to do so. #JesuisAhmed

    The majority of users have used the hashtag to point out Merabet died defending Charlie Hebdo's right to mock his religion.

    #JeSuisAhmed is a hashtag I can support. They insulted his religion, and he died defending their right to do so.

    "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Voltaire #JeSuisAhmed

    Response from European #Muslims to #ParisShooting - for once majority muslim reactions are penetrating media "wall"

    Many have taken the opportunity to share cartoons.

    The suicide bomber views true Islam upsidedown because he is upsidedown, like his beliefs #JeSuisCharlie #JeSuisAhmed

    Beneath the rule of men entirely great The pen is mightier than the sword #JeSuisCharlie #JeSuisAhmed

    If your faith can be shaken by a drawing, then you have none. #JeSuisCharlie #JeSuisAhmed

    Others have expressed their frustration that the Hebdo attack has been used by some to vilify their religion.

    I, a Muslim, was killed protecting ur right to express yourself, only for u to now use it to call for hate against my people? #JeSuisAhmed

    This image, taken seconds before Merabet was murdered, has gone hugely viral.

    Friends of Merabet told The Telegraph that he'd "dedicated his life to improving his community".

    He had been a police officer for eight years and was reportedly planning to get married in the summer. A store owner who knew him told the newspaper:

    I didn't want to see the video, but then I watched it. It is even worse. It is a barbaric act, killing someone like that. They didn't think of him as a person. He was straightforward, modest, super kind. He was adorable ... Everyone liked him. I didn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. I didn't want to believe it.

    Ahmed Merabet was 40 years old when he died.

    One of the gunmen reportedly asked Merabet if he tried to kill them, to which he's believed to have replied, "No chief, it's OK." An earlier version of this story said Merabet had asked the gunmen if they were trying to kill him.