Local News

Triangle Muslims speak out

Posted July 30, 2009
Updated July 31, 2009

— When Raleigh resident Taani El-Emam heard of the terror-related arrests in North Carolina earlier this week, she said she knew life would be different as a Muslim.

El-Emam has been a Triangle resident for more than 20 years. She said she saw a fellow Muslim treated badly at a restaurant recently.

“A couple of teenagers drove past and yelled out the window, ‘You guys are terrorists,’” El-Emam said.

Hisham Sarsour, a fellow Muslim in Raleigh, said allegations against a few people are associated with the entire Muslim community. Distrust can grow as Muslims feel they are closely being watched by neighbors and maybe the government.

“It breaks my heart to have our religion, Islam, associated with the word terrorism,” Sarsour said.

Imran Aukhil, of the Islamic Center of Raleigh. Triangle Muslims speak about recent arrests

Jihad Shawwa, who has also lived in the Triangle for decades, said he is trying to reach out to the non-Muslim community. He said this is his home and he loves it here.

“Muslims, they want to live here like any other ethnic group,” Shawwa said.

Muslims made that point this past weekend by holding an open house at the Islamic Center of Raleigh. Hundreds, including community leaders, turned out to see the center.

Two days later, seven people were arrested at various Triangle locations on charges that they sought to engage in terrorism in the Middle East and raised money, bought weapons and trained in North Carolina to carry out their plan.

“This kind of problem of stereotyping will probably continue to happen and that’s not something we can control, but we can do our best to educate the public,” said Imran Aukhil, of the Islamic Center of Raleigh.

Some Muslims who spoke to WRAL News also asked the public not to judge those arrested this week until the full truth is known.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • Fed-up29 Jul 31, 2009


    That is my point. You found it and know that it is there and that we have. As I was saying how many times do we have to keep sying this. I wondering are Christians still saying sorry for the Crusades and other atrocities done in the name of their religion. I also wonder if the military is still saying sorry for whatt the soliders did to that family in Iraq.

    Anyways I am Muslim and I am against terror said in the name of Islam. You now know of at least one muslim who says this. There are others.

  • gandalla Jul 31, 2009

    It is interesting how everyone on here has asked us to speak out against Terrorism. We have. In every sermon on Friday we always speak out to the brothers and sisters against it.

    Well tell CAIR to speak out against it. Because I'll tell you last time I tried to find the "Not in the name of our Religion" petition on their website it took me about 10 minutes. You would think this would be on the main page.

  • Fed-up29 Jul 31, 2009

    It is interesting how everyone on here has asked us to speak out against Terrorism. We have. In every sermon on Friday we always speak out to the brothers and sisters against it. We have even said so in statements to communities. I suppose though people we never be happy unles we say it each and everyday. I suppose just even saying it once is not good enough.

    I wonder how many German people in the US spoke out against the Holocaust or how many japanese people spoke out against the Pearl Harbor bombing or how many Anglo Americans spoke out against the Civil war and the near decimation of the Native American race. Better yet how many Hispanics have spoken out against illegal immigration.

    We muslims no that Terrorism is wrong. However just like every religion there is a few bad apples. examples: Warren Jeffs and the FLDS and David Kuresh and Christians. I also wonder how come there was no Christians denouncing the bombings and killings at abortion clinics. just saying.....

  • CrewMax Jul 31, 2009

    Maybe there are some Muslim heroes who are putting their lives at risk by infiltrating the ranks of these terrorist organizations and providing intel about their operations. If there are, we would never hear about them, even though they would be the best example of their religion and we would owe them a debt of gratitude.

  • Professor Jul 31, 2009

    I am a Baptist. I would not have it any other way. :)

  • mrmud4x4 Jul 31, 2009

    blackdog, I'm sure all those folks that denounced , oh lets say, Hitler, Stalin, Sadam, etc.......would agree.

  • blackdog Jul 31, 2009

    The greatest weapon against the extremists, is the denunciation of extremism by the moderate majority.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again02 Jul 31, 2009

    "Unfortunately for Muslims in the United States, they are associated with our current 'enemy'"

    The moderates could easily distance themselves from the bad apples by denouncing the jihad actions of the extremists, if only they would.

  • dws Jul 31, 2009

    "I think everyone should ask these groups who claim to be moderates why they refuse to condemn the radicals that give their religion a bad name."

    it's not only the groups, but also every individual who must denounce terrorism.....silence is a form of agreement, those who agree with and/or support terrorism of any organization are cowards

  • lkanzig Jul 31, 2009

    it only takes a few to make everyone else look bad!
    what islam needs to do is condem these factions within their religion and make these people pay for their crimes. unfortunately the main islamic religion has been quiet and not spoken out against those who are doing these acts in the name of islam.