I know this isn’t my usual content, but after what happened last week with the #ChapelHillShooting I had to speak out.
I see a lot of bad news year round but this piece of news hit me particularly hard. Deah, Yusor and Razan were three, young Muslim college students from North Carolina. They weren’t just any college students; they were gems in their community and spent a great deal of time serving the needs of their community through volunteering. Deah had recently raised $15,000 (now over $400,000) to go on a dental mission to provide dental care for Syrian children this summer. And Deah and Yusor had just gotten married 6 weeks prior to their death.
The horror of being dealt a bullet to the head in their own homes, supposedly over a parking space, is huge. Regardless if this was over a parking space, the amount of hatred and ill wishes that is being dealt to American Muslims is reaching new highs with our news outlets fueling the fire. To say that this has nothing to do with it would be naive at best.
More horrific to me is the response from people close to me, and in my very own communities. There is little outrage. Maybe because I am an American Muslim myself, I feel this tragedy deeply. In fact, the week after the horrific shooting left me filled with strong feelings of despair, fear, and hopelessness that I’d never felt before. I live in a college town. I’m around their age and live a very similar lifestyle to their own. Will I be staring down the barrel of a gun one day from one of my neighbors? It’s a terrifying possibility that finally came to light for me. I can’t pretend that fear and hate isn’t here. And it’s scary.
As an American, I’m ashamed of some of my fellow citizen’s ignorance and intolerance. As an American Muslim, I fear for myself and my family. The only thing that kept me going was the support and love from Americans from all faiths and colors who felt the pain of this tragedy with me.
My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for their parents to lose such precious children so soon. No parent wants to be alive to bury their own child. Let alone two of your children, as Yusor’s sister Razan was also present and killed in their house alongside them.
My emotions are raw at this point and it’s really hard to talk about. I’ll just leave it at that.
#YourMuslimNeighbor: A beautiful initiative from Amnah of Little Life of Mine to get Muslims to approach their neighbors in their communities. It should be so that if anyone we deal with in our daily lives sees the negative image of Islam and Muslims portrayed in the media, that they do not believe it. “That’s not true, my neighbor is Muslim and they are none of those things.”
Syrian Dental Relief: Donations are still open for Deah’s fundraiser for students from UNC Dental school to make a relief trip to provide desperately needed dental care for Syria’s youngest refugees.
Feed Their Legacy: A united movement, by American Muslim leaders, to collect and distribute food to the hungry. All in the memory of the #ChapelHillShooting victims.