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After Chapel Hill: What Should Muslims Do Now?

After Chapel Hill: What Should Muslims Do Now?

Author Saud Inam by

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We have all been mourning the loss of our brother Deah and our sisters Yusur and Razan, and we all feel immense sorrow and sadness. But in order to ensure that their legacies live on, we must honor their legacy. Here are ten ways to do so:

1. Build a Community of Empathy and Love

It's important that we greet people in our community – those who we know and don't know. It's now more important than ever for us to be there for each other and support one another. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
"A believer is like a brick for another believer, the one supporting the other." [Sahih Muslim - Book 032: Hadith 6257]

2. Remember and Exemplify Their Service to Others

We must not focus on the tragedy. We must turn tragedy into triumph by focusing on the lives of these three beautiful souls. Remember their service to others and make it a motivation for you to do bigger and better things for you and your community. Join habitat for humanity, an organization that Our Three Winners were a part of, and serve the homeless in project downtown and other relief services.

3. Create Better Relationships with Your Neighbors

The best way to counter anti-Muslim bigotry and Islamophobia is to simply be a good neighbor. Invite your neighbor over to your house. Offer to mow their lawn or do some chores for them. Simply being a good neighbor is not only a service, but also a great way to create lasting relationships and friendships.

4. Create Relationships with Other Faith and Minority Communities

Work with your local masjid to create meaningful relationships with other faith and minority communities to create bonds of love, mercy, and compassion. Invite people of other faiths to dinner or to your home. Have conversations around the similarities you share.

Also, work towards common social justice causes, such as justice causes for women, people of color, and the poor. It is vital that Muslims at this time create alliances with other discriminated groups of people. Begin a movement that calls for the justice of Muslims, and just as passionately, join movements that call for justice of others – such as Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, and transnational feminist movements.

5. Help Make Your Community Safe

This is pretty important as we're seeing a rise in hate crimes, not only in the US but internationally too. If you're a brother, walk with sisters and accompany them to their classes or places of work. If a Muslim man sees a Muslim sister (regardless of whether or not he knows her) walking alone in the evening after class or work, he must ask her if he can walk with her to her destination. Muslim men and women should call campus police escorts to walk with them in the evening or walk with a group of friends or peers. Save the campus police escort number to your phone.

Also be cognizant of your surroundings at all times. Make sure your local masjid has a plan of action for potential hate crimes and that you have a good and working relationship with your local police department. Reach out to national resources like CAIR too for support and resources.

6. Find a Cause You Believe In

It's important to find your WHY in life. What is your purpose? Deah, Yusor and Razan had their WHY and were serving others. What is your WHY and what is your cause you're passionate about? Find it and find an organization you can volunteer your time, energy and effort with...or make your own project! Be the change you want to see in the world!

7. Reach Out to Youth

Our youth are under the most intense pressure. From Islamophobia here in the US to the incidents in France and elsewhere, it is becoming more and more difficult for Muslim youth. We need to reach out to the youth, provide them programs, or at the least, just be a friend for them to speak to about anything they're facing. We can do so by spending time with youth after Friday prayer and taking them out to eat. We can have fun gatherings for them that offer a safe and loving environment for them to express their thoughts and emotions. This is necessary in order to build leaders who can continue the legacy of Deah, Yusor, and Razan.

8. Reach out to Muslim Students on University Campuses and Offer Support

It's important that Muslim college students are given support not only during this extremely difficult time, but in the future as well. Masjids and community leaders need to reach out to Muslim college students and ask them if they need support and what type of support they need.

9. Say “I Love You” to Family and Friends

We must love and appreciate those around us. We don't know how long our lives are and we must work harder to create loving relationships with those around us.

It was narrated from Anas ibn Maalik (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a man was with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) when another man passed by and he said: “O Messenger of Allaah, I love this man.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to him: “Have you told him?” He said: “No.” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Tell him.” So he caught up with him and said: “I love you for the sake of Allah.” He said: “May the one for whose sake you love me also love you.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (no. 5125)

10. Gather Toolkits and Other Resources for Your Community

There are plenty of resources and toolkits you can find via CAIR, MPAC, and other organizations regarding how to deal with hate crimes, Islamophobia, etc. The Center for American Progress is a great resource and has a report called Fear, Inc. that allows you to see how the Islamophobia industry is set up. In addition, Imam Zia Sheikh has a great book called "Islam: Silencing the Critics" which addresses common attacks on Islam and Muslims from a scholarly perspective.

This kit will be a good start for you: Click Here

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