One Muslim tells the world: I'm sorry

Muslim iReporter 'livid' over Paris attack
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    Muslim iReporter 'livid' over Paris attack

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Muslim iReporter 'livid' over Paris attack 03:42

Story highlights

  • Shame, anger and outrage are among emotions felt by Muslims since Paris attacks
  • Some Muslims apologized on behalf of their religion, not for their beliefs
  • Are you a Muslim? Share your perspectives with CNN iReport

(CNN)After staying away from the news of the attack, Zunera Mazhar felt so outraged that she had to say something.

"Being a mother, having a 6-year-old daughter, how do I explain it to her? 'No, this is not us?' " said the Muslim from Virginia.
    The immigration worker's powerful video message hit on the emotions some Muslims around the world were feeling: outrage, disgust and shame.
    "I am just livid," said the 31-year-old. "I don't know why we feel that it's OK to kill innocent people in the name of protecting something that does not need or require protection. I am really sorry to the whole world as a Muslim that we have some ignorant people that have taken some very ignorant actions in the name of faith."
    To be clear, Mazhar and other Muslims who spoke to CNN were not apologizing for their beliefs -- some are apologizing to the world on behalf of their religion, sullied by the few Muslims extremists who attacked French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo this week. Of the 12 people who died, four were cartoonists and one was a Muslim police officer on the scene.
    Theresa Corbin, a self-described feminist, converted to Islam two months after September 11. The New Orleans resident wears a hijab and says she has felt more stares than normal after the Paris terror attack.
    "I fear the attack will mean that people will be more likely to sneer at me, to call me names in public, or even attack me," she said. "But I hope that it means that people will ask me questions about my faith and that I can make it clear that these attacks have no place in Islam."
    Perception is also playing into Ahmad Basel Burghul's mind. The 20-year-old student from Istanbul, Turkey, is no longer thinking of studying abroad in France. The attack made him suspect that some French might look upon Muslims differently after Wednesday's attack.
    Meanwhile, Stephanie Dunbar Siam, an American living in Muscat, Oman, was initially angry at the "hijackers" of her religion. But she became angrier when she realized she would have to reassure the people around her that "This is not Islam."
    "I want to reaffirm my intense alarm and disheartening at the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo staff members. But I will not apologize for my beliefs or my religion," she said.
    Siam sees this time as an opportunity to educate people.
    "It means I will persevere even harder to learn more about my faith so I can counter misunderstanding and discrimination in a positive manner, the way Prophet Mohammed did it."