In the aftermath of the bombing that killed hundreds in Iraq over the weekend, Muslims took to social media to remind the world that the primary targets of terrorist attacks are Muslims.
The hashtag #ISISAttackingMuslims trended on Twitter and other networks on Tuesday, as users wrote messages of mourning and solidarity for the more than 200 killed in the Baghdad bombings Saturday night—the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital since the so-called War on Terror began in 2003—and the attacks in Saudi Arabia that hit three cities in 24 hours, including the holy site of Medina, the resting place of the Prophet Mohammed.
"They thrive on blood, any kind of it and Muslim's blood is no exception," wrote one user. "We are all against those enemies of humanity."
"We shed the same blood, suffer the same pain, die the same way you do," wrote another. "We aren't terrorists."
Another person added: "Before blaming Muslims for Isis, remember that Isis terrorist attacks is targeting more Muslims than any other groups."
Others pointed to recent attacks in countries with a majority Muslim population, such as Turkey, Egypt, and Pakistan, and noting that there were Muslim victims in the recent tragedies in the Western cities of Paris and Brussels. Many users also pointed out the fallacy of equating terror groups with Islam.
An image that circulated on social media showed a graphic with the words, "ISIS is bombing Muslims in Muslim countries in the holy month of Ramadan. And you still think ISIS represents Islam?"
The messages came as Muslim world leaders and activists called for unity.
"There are no more red lines left for terrorists to cross," Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Monday. "Sunnis, Shiites will both remain victims unless we stand united as one."
For many Muslims around the world, wrote Center for Global Policy senior fellow Haroon Moghul, the attacks were "an assault on Islam itself."