Response to the Murder of Chapel Hill Muslim Students

Transcript follows:

Salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh, meaning “Peace be unto you and may Allah grant His mercy blessings upon you”

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad has told us that a Muslim is a brother to every other Muslim and in that way we are connected more tightly through bonds of Islam than we could be through bonds of blood relation.

It is because we are all bound to one another that we feel so strongly and hurt so deeply when senseless violence shatters our community.

I’m Duston Barto, editor of Muslim American and today I’m sharing our thoughts about the tragic shooting of three young Muslim American students in Chapel Hill, NC.

Although it was just after 5pm when Deah, Yuser and Razan were brutally murdered in their home; it would be a full 14 hours before national news networks carried the story.  This will obviously lead some Muslim Americans to feel isolated and ostracized by society.  I sincerely hope that the reason for national media blackout was due to police procedure and fact-finding rather than intentional negligence, but time will tell on this issue.

What is important to know is that this is not specifically an anti-Muslim hate crime.  Unlike the usual form of bigotry that Muslims are accustomed to from extreme right-wing sources; this killer was an extreme left-wing Atheist who hated all religions. This was in spite of considering himself to be both Liberal and Progressive in thought.  It should stand as a testament that extremism in all forms is destructive and that enemies of humanity can come from the right and the left.

This should be a rally cry for all people of faith so that Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and others who believe to join together and reject extremism in all forms.  We must enact the instruction given in 2:256 of the Qur’an which says “There shall be no coercion in matters of faith.” We must say to the disbelievers as instructed in the 109th surah letting people who reject faith go in peace.  With mutual respect we can show the superiority of moral conduct and this will be attractive to those who are agnostic or atheist to stand with us and say “NO MORE” to extreme thoughts and hatred for fellow man.

It is a time for Muslim-Americans to stand in solidarity against hate, a time for all of us to make our voices heard with #IamMuslimAmerican.  We must let evil-doers know that we are united and we are bigger than they are.  There are millions of Muslims in America; we should be a million voices raised in a unified voice.

The victims of this horrid act were examples of how Muslims should be; they gave charity to the poor in their own area and made plans to provide charitable dental care to Syrian refugees in Turkey. They gave of themselves what they could to make the lives of others better.

We must take their example and honor their memory by doing acts of charity within our own communities, reaching out to the neighbors we’ve never spoken to and people whose names we’ve never bothered to learn.  We must live that pillar of Zakat as Deah Barakat, Yusor and Razan Abu-Salha did.  It is only through charity, mercy and kindness that we can purge the hate from this world.

May Allah bless you all and keep you safe.

Insh’allah share this video and let’s all honor them.

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