There have been Muslims living in North Carolina for decades. In fact, some of the very first Muslims in our state were African slaves who were brought here in the 18th century. People just didn’t really take much notice of the Muslims around them until 9/11 and other high profile acts of terrorism committed by radical extremists claiming to be Muslims. Those acts have helped fuel what some call Islamophobia, which is fear of Muslims and Islam.
Should we be afraid of radical Islamic extremists? Absolutely. We should be afraid of radical extremists of any kind. They are not exclusive to Islam. Experts say Islamic extremists represent a very small minority of Muslims. Unfortunately too many people assume that their beliefs represent the beliefs of all Muslims. The Muslims I’ve spoken with don’t approve of the actions of Islamic extremists any more than the Christians I know approve of the actions of a Baptist preacher who burns the Quran.
Some people ask where the moderate Muslim voices are. They’re hard to hear when the extremists get all the media attention. Fortunately we have the opportunity to let you hear some of them in our documentary “Faith, Fear and Freedom”.