On February 10th, 2015, three young Muslim-Americans were murdered in their Chapel Hill apartment.
As kids, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Deah Barakat, 23, attended Al-Iman Islamic School in Raleigh. In the video below, middle schoolers from Al-Iman react to their deaths and reflect on growing up in a climate that feels increasingly anti-Muslim.
On the day of her youngest brother’s wedding, Suzanne Barakat combed his hair, held him and watched him dance in a ballroom with his new life partner.
She thought about how her 23-year-old brother, Deah, was no longer a lanky, basketball-obsessed teenager who struggled to focus on school. He had transformed into a well-rounded, ambitious student at the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry and was marrying someone who shared his passion.
This week began Ramadan for Muslims across the world, but those in North Carolina were welcomed by a heat wave that went into triple-digit temperatures. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown for a month. That means no food or water, two things that people usually hold as sacred during the summer months.
But Aziza Shanab said no matter the temperature, Ramadan is a deeply spiritual time.
In the days since the triple homicide of Chapel Hill residents Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha, two hashtags have surged through social media feeds: #chapelhillshooting and #muslimlivesmatter.
My Accidental Jihad is a book Krista Bremer never imagined that she'd write. Krista is a surfer, she'd grown up in a secular middle-class California family, dreaming of "a comfortable American life of adventure, romance, and opportunity."
Then she met Ismail. When Krista discovered she was pregnant, the two joined their lives. Ismail seemed to come from another world. He'd been raised in a fishing village in Libya, one of eight children. His parents are illiterate. His family was raised Muslim.
Iranian-American writer and attorney Melody Moezzi joins Frank Stasio to discuss her memoir 'Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life'
Melody Moezzi has always been outspoken. As an Iranian-American writer and attorney, she has devoted herself to discussing controversial issues like religion, politics and culture in Iran. But when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, her family and doctors encouraged silence. On this issue, they thought, you could not speak the truth. Melody would not be quiet. She decided to write a memoir of her experiences so that others with the disorder, and those who know them, could better understand. The memoir is called “Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life,” (Avery/2013). Host Frank Stasio talks to her about her experience.
A panel share their thoughts on the Muslim experience in North Carolina
About 26,000 Muslims live in North Carolina, a 30 percent increase during the past 10 years. At the same time, the post 9/11 fear of Islamic terrorism continues to dominate people's views of the Muslim religion and people in their community.
Rarely do articles of clothing receive as much attention as the Muslim headscarf does in the 2000s. In quite a strange twist, the glances and questions that women who wear the headscarf, in non-Muslim majority societies receive is many times in contradiction with one of the purposes of the veil, which is to not draw attention to oneself.
Researchers at Duke University say the number of Muslim Americans convicted of terrorist acts in the U.S. is on a steady decline. They released the findings in conjunction with the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. In 2009, 49 people were arrested, and the number has dropped each subsequent year to 14 arrests last year. David Schanzer, director of the Triangle Center, says recent terrorism plotters haven’t been as sophisticated.
Raleigh's Muslim community is caught between two uncomfortably close to home criminal trials. The dust has finally settled around the case of the so-called Raleigh 7. The final member of that gang was convicted last month for conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and kill people overseas. Now, lawyers are preparing for a related case that begins this November. It involves a highly respected Muslim woman from Raleigh.
UNC-Chapel Hill is hosting a lecture later today by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. He's the man at the heart of a controversial plan to build an Islamic Center near ground zero in lower Manhattan. Bill Balthrop is a professor in the department of communication studies at UNC. He says the Imam will talk about religious tolerance and pluralism in the United States during this year's Weil Lecture on American Citizenship:
The Islamic Center of Raleigh will host its annual open house for the public tomorrow. The event usually draws hundreds of people from the region who come to learn more about Muslims and their religion.
Imran Aukhil is a spokesman for the Islamic Association of Raleigh:
A candlelight vigil and prayer for the people of Egypt will be held this evening in Raleigh. The Muslim American Public Affairs Council and several others groups are organizing the vigil. Moe El-Gamal is the chairman of the council and one of the leading organizers. He also led a demonstration at the legislative building earlier today.