Muslim Response to Chapel Hill: Honoring the Slain and Building Bridges

Muslim Response to Chapel Hill: Honoring the Slain and Building Bridges February 12, 2015

chapel-hill-shootingBy Alan Howard

By now you have probably heard of the tragic shooting deaths of the three students in Chapel Hill, NC – Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Abu-Salha. You have no doubt also heard of the arrest a short while later of the suspect Craig Stephen Hicks who has admitted that he entered their home and shot all three of them to death. The reason given by the local authorities is that this shooting was ostensibly due to a long-running parking dispute that Hicks had been having with several neighbors. The collective feeling among American Muslims is that parking disputes take place in parking places and do not involve home invasion and execution style killings. The authorities need to be given the time to investigate all the angles of these murders, but the American Muslim community must be responsible for holding them to that investigation and not allowing this crime fade into the background.

But this crime also awakened something that was unprecedented until this time, and that was the coming together of almost every major American Muslim organization in the wake of the tragedy. Early in the morning on the day after the shooting, utilizing social media and instant messaging American Muslims from media and PR firms joined a conversation that included MPAC, ISNA, CAIR, ISB, ING, SMILE, MuslimHeroes, National MSA, and a huge host of other organizations. These disparate organizations came to this one central conversation with the same aim which was to react to this tragic shooting and come up with ideas for honoring the slain and build bridges. This online conversation later morphed into a conference call and now-forming committees across organizational lines to come up with fresh ideas for dealing with not only this tragic circumstance, but also new ways that these disparate organizations can work together to combat Islamophobia or do more community action.

Also coming out of this unity of purpose was the organization locally of vigils to honor and remember the deceased. These have been organized across college/university campuses and in cities across the country. A list of all of these vigils is at the bottom of this article.

Still, this shooting has been very unsettling for Muslims across the country as a whole, but has impacted the greater Triangle region of NC (Chapel Hill, Durham, Raleigh) hardest. A member of that great community Sarwer Zafiruddin (Raleigh) said of the shootings, “We are numb and in shock. That three young people with so much to give back to the community and the country as a whole would be stolen from us in an instant is very hard to fathom.” He went on to talk about how it affects his family: “I do not think I am any different from anyone else in the community here when I say I worry about my own wife and children being targeted.”

Vigils scheduled:

Fri, Feb 13 6:00 PM Vigil Edmonton AB Canada
Thurs, Feb 12 6:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Tempe AZ USA

 

Thu, Feb 12 6:30 PM Candelight Vigil Los Angeles CA
Fri Feb 13 4:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Merced CA
Thurs Feb 12 5:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Los Angeles (UCLA) CA
Thurs Feb 12th 6:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Long Beach CA
Thurs Feb 12th 5:30 PM Candlelight Vigil San Diego CA
Thurs, Feb 12 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil San Jose CA
Thurs, Feb 12 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Davis CA
Thurs, Feb 12 7:15 PM Candelight Vigil Santa Clara CA
Thurs, Feb 12 6:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Los Angeles CA

 

Thurs, Feb 12 7:30 PM Candlelight Vigil and Prayer Santa Barbara CA
Wed Feb 11 6:00 PM Candelight Vigil Davis CA
Wed Feb 11 7:30 PM Prayer/Healing Halaqah Rancho Cucamonga CA
Wed, Feb 11 6:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Fullerton CA
Wed, Feb 11 6:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Los Angeles CA (USC)
Wed, Feb 11 9:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Stanford CA
Fri, Feb 13 6:00 PM Prayer Vigil Bridegport CT
Thurs, Feb 12 6:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Washington D.C.
Thurs, Feb 12 6:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Washington DC

 

Thurs, Feb 12 6:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Orlando FL
Thurs, Feb 12 6:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Miami FL
Thurs, Feb 12 4:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Tampa FL
Wed. Feb 11 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Athens GA
Thurs, Feb 12 6:30 PM Candelight Vigil Atlanta GA
Thurs, Feb 12 7:00 PM Candlelight vigil Augusta GA
Thurs, Feb 12 7:00 AM Drive to Funeral (Janaza) Atlanta GA

 

Wed, Feb 11 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Chicago IL
Wed, Feb 11 6:15 PM Candlelight Vigil Evanston IL
Wed, Feb 11 & Thurs, Feb 12 6:00 PM & 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil & Salatul Gha’eb Chicago IL
Thursday Feb 12 6:00 PM Candelight Vigil Chicago IL
Wed, Feb 11 Candlelight Vigil Boston MA

 

Thurs Feb 12th 7:00 PM Prayer and Candlelight Vigil Baltimore MD
Wed Feb 11 6:00 PM Candlelight & Prayer Vigil Flint MI
Wed, Feb 11 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Ann Arbor MI
Wed, Feb 11 6:00 PM Candelight Vigil Minneapolis MN
Wed, Feb 11 5:30 PM Prayer and Candlelight Vigil Chapel Hill NC
Wed, Feb 11 5:00 PM Prayer Vigil New York NY
Wed Feb 11 9:00 PM Candlelight & Prayer Vigil New York NY
Wed, Feb 11 5:00 PM Candelight Vigil NYC NY

 

Fri, Feb 13 6:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Buffalo NY
Fri Feb 13 4:30 PM Vigil and Silent Protest Cleveland OH
Fri Feb 13 2:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Cincinnati OH
Thurs, Feb 12 7:00 PM Candelight Vigil Columbus OH
Wed, Feb 11 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Columbus OH
Fri, Feb 13 6:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Toronto ON
Wed Feb 11 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Ottawa ON
Wed, Feb 11 8:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Bryn Mawr PA

 

Thurs, Feb 12 6:00 AM Candlelight Vigil University Park PA
Friday Feb 13 6:00PM-8PM Candlelight Vigil Nashville TN
Fri, Feb 13 6:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Dallas TX
Sun, Feb 15 5:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Houston TX
Thus, Feb 12 7:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Richardson TX
Thursday Feb 12 Candlelight Vigil Dallas TX
Thursday Feb 12 8:00 PM Candlelight Vigil College Station TX
Thursday Feb 12 6:00 PM Candelight Vigil Austin TX
Fri Feb 13 2:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Fairfax VA

 

Fri, Feb 13 9:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Charlottesville VA
Wed, Feb 11 8:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Richmond VA
Wed, Feb 11 8:30 PM Candlelight Vigil Blacksburg VA

 

Thurs Feb 11 12:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Milwaukee WI
Thurs, Feb 12 6:00 PM Candlelight Vigil Lewisburg WV
Wed, Feb 11 7:30 PM Candlelight Vigil New Brunswick
Wed, Feb 11 6 30pm Healing Circle Boston MA
Fri, Feb 13 1:00 PM Moment of Silence, small talk Fort Collins CO

 

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