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Local Muslim: 'We are really not comfortable with our religion's name being hijacked'

Posted November 22, 2015

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— Prayers for healing and peace in Paris are continuing around the world and in the Triangle, the Institute of Islamic and Turkish studies planned a special prayer service in Cary with the French Community.

It was standing room only on Sunday afternoon as people from different faiths came together to offer prayers and words of encouragement for victims of the terrorist attacks.

Speakers of Islamic, Christian, and Jewish faiths spoke to the crowd about the sadness they felt about the attacks and the importance of everyone coming together peacefully.

"We can still stand here united, shoulder to shoulder. People of different backgrounds, people of different faith groups, beliefs, races, whatever and give out a strong message to those saying that no matter what they do, they will not be able to destroy our resolve," said Muslim Ekrem Hatip.

Those of Islamic faith talked about what it is like to be identified as Muslim in the aftermath of the attacks. They want their local community, the nation and the world to know the terrorists are a small percentage of people and do not represent the Muslim community as a whole.

“The majority is a peaceful group so we are not really happy, we are not really comfortable with our religion’s name being hijacked and misused by a few punks,” said Hatip.

One Muslim woman who spoke said that she wished she could wear a sign that said “not in my name, not in the name of my religion,” so that people would know that she does not support terrorism in any way. Some of the adult men at the event said they do not worry for themselves but they worry for their children and younger generations as they could easily be targeted, alienated and made fun of.

With the recent terrorist attacks in the name of Islam, local Muslims sometimes find themselves on the defense. Fatima Hedadji said that being a Muslim in the aftermath of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks means answering a lot of questions. She said that she would prefer have people ask the tough questions rather than assume something that isn't true.

"Is this what Islam stands for? These terrorist attacks? And those questions, to me, sometimes they kind of hit me by surprise," said Hedadji. "To me, it's en entire reality that, you know, Muslims do not stand for this."

They said interfaith prayer vigils like Sunday's event are important to show the local community that they're not a group of people to be feared. Rather, many are afraid for their families.

Hatip is thankful that he has not had hurtful things said to him at work but he, and others, are concerned for the women who are easily identified by their head scarves, or children who are teased at school.

"People make fun of their names or people put some nasty adjective before their names. That's why we are trying to instill in them, saying your religion is nothing to be ashamed of and you bear no responsibility in the name of what's being done in the name of your religion," said Hatip.


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  • Barry Smith Nov 23, 2015
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    The bible says the exact same thing about stoning those that worship gods other than the god of israel..

  • Jarfaris Brown Nov 23, 2015
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    Form Image

  • Dan Wilder Nov 23, 2015
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    Exactly my point it doesn't matter whether a particular religion is real or not real, as long as people truly believe in them you have to base your interactions with them accordingly.

  • Sean Creasy Nov 23, 2015
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    I do believe in God but religion WAS an invention of man. The Bible was written by 9th century Catholic monks who edited and left out parts that didn't fit their doctrine, the Koran was written by Mohammad who was a 3rd century pedophile and power mongerer, and the Tora is a mix mash of beliefs borrowed from earlier Sumerian religions, so yes I believe in God just not in what people call religion....

  • Mike Hill Nov 23, 2015
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    That says a lot about WRAL's ability to fact check.

  • Typical WRAL Commenter Nov 23, 2015

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    That Dearborn, Michigan article is from a satirical website.

  • Jarfaris Brown Nov 23, 2015
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    It's amazing how our college student are so willing to listen to the black lies matter, and these Muslims, but when a Conservative Christian speaks they shout him down. Even the most moderate of these Muslims will turn against a member of their family who chooses to change their religion to Christian, or if their daughter wants to marry a Christian, the family will disown her. I would suggest anyone read "The Caged Virgin"by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, if you want to know the truth about these Muslims you want to give so much of your love to.
    In a surprise weekend vote, the city council of Dearborn, Michigan voted 4-3 to became the first US city to officially implement all aspects of Sharia Law. The tough new law, slated to go into effect January 1st, addresses secular law including crime, politics and economics as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, fasting, prayer, diet and hygiene.
    The new law could see citizens stoned for adultery or having a limb amputated for theft. Lesser

  • Megan Alto Nov 23, 2015
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    Well said! and yes the radicals are following the exact word of their religious books. They also like to say Jesus is in their book also, but their Jesus which they claim is ours is to come back, convert and order the killing of all Christians and Jews. Their prophet was a warrior and his words speak of that

  • Megan Alto Nov 23, 2015
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    radical islam is trying to bring about the caliphate in order to have the return of the 12th iman..plain and simple. They tried this in 1915 killing well over 5 million people, France, Britian and the US was able to stop it. There will always be a radical portion of this religion that will follow the word of their prophet and continue to live in medieval times, whereas moderate muslims do not which is why most are in this country to safely practice their religion. Claiming regular evil murderers are the same as terrorists only show your ignorance. Not one of the murderers including Tim McVay (who was agnostic and anti govt) murdered for their religion, not one yelled praise to God before killing (only religious zealot who killed for religious reasons was Eric Rudolf). There is a HUGE difference and until everyone educates themselves on the radical islam, we will not be able to defeat it.

  • Erica Konopka Nov 23, 2015
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    Irony is commenting 'why don't these angry Muslims speak out about their disgust with these terrorists....' on an article featuring exactly that.