French flag Facebook: Charlotte Farhan explains why she has not changed her profile picture to include the Tricolore

'If I did this for only Paris this would be wrong'

Serina Sandhu
Monday 16 November 2015 17:26
Charlotte Farhan has had to defend her decision on Facebook
Charlotte Farhan has had to defend her decision on Facebook

A French-British woman has explained why she has refused to change her Facebook profile picture to include an image of the French flag following the Paris terror attacks.

Since 129 people were killed in the attacks on Friday, Facebook users have been showing their support for people in the French capital by overlaying an image of the country's flag on their profile photo.

But Charlotte Farhan, who is based in Portsmouth, said it “would be wrong” to do so only for Paris because so many other countries were also suffering.

Her post explaining why she would not be taking part has gone viral since she wrote it on Saturday. It has been shared more than 88,000 times and has been liked by more than 133,000 people.

Ms Farhan, who is the managing director of non-profit group Art Saves Lives International, said: “I won’t be changing my profile to the French flag even though I am French and from Paris.”

“The reason for this is that if I did this for only Paris this would be wrong. If I did this for every attack on the world, I would have to change my profile everyday several times a day.”

“My heart is with the world, no borders, no hierarchy, I hold every human’s life with value who is attacked by extremist beliefs whether they are based on religion, prejudice or profit!"

"Don’t be part of the ‘us and them’ mentality which the war mongers want you to do," she said.

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Many social media users have supported her stance.

But Ms Farhan also had to defend her position after receiving some criticism.

She wrote on Facebook: “One other thought I have on my viral status, my only criticism was of Facebook and our world leaders; by giving only one option of changing your profile to only one countries flag which is suffering when there are so many others which are also suffering around the world is wrong! World leaders sharing condolences with only one country is wrong!”

Ms Farhan also explained her decision to The Independent: "The main reason for me is because being a French-British person and being married to a Jordanian-British person who is Muslim, and having lots of family in Palestine, I felt like I would be very hypocritical if I took advantage of Facebook's flag situation because I felt that it would show that I was not inclusive with my sympathy."

"And of course my sympathy was with the French and the victims but I am very aware of current affairs and I know of all the tragedies that go on continuously."

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