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Partnership between Muslims, non-Muslims could be key to preventing attacks

Posted September 19

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— Exploring the fears felt by Muslims and non-Muslims was part of a panel discussion held in the Triangle Monday night.

The program, called Between Hope and Fear: Islam in North Carolina was recorded in front of a live audience in a UNC-TV studio and touched on fear surrounding Islam and why it’s important for Muslims and non-Muslims to get closer together.

The discussion on Islam in North Carolina was planned long before the bomb explosions in New York and New Jersey over the weekend. Deonna Kelli Sayed described what it was like, as a Muslim, to hear the news of those attacks.

“There is this feeling of heaviness that just overcomes you,” she said.

Sayed said she knew that the attacks meant that she would have to work to defend who she is.

“You can never be fully human; you are always having to explain why you are not this monster,” she said.

To change that, Abdullah Antepli of Duke University said Muslims must acknowledge that people are afraid.

“Of course there is a radical form of Islam. Denying such reality, that cancer in the world of Islam, is basically denying a reality which is right in front of us,” Antepli said.

Sayed said the closer neighbors get together, the less they learn to fear one another.

“We have to speak. We don’t have the option of hiding anymore,’ she said.

While some acknowledged that there are some legitimate fears about the Muslim community, experts said working together with Muslim neighbors to report those who could cause trouble could be what prevents the next attack.

“Ironically, it is by making us a more inclusive society that actually might help us to make progress on this very difficult issue of preventing these attacks from happening in the first place,” said David Shanzer with the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security.

The program, which was moderated by WRAL News anchor David Crabtree, will air at 10 p.m. Thursday on UNC-TV.


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  • Aiden Audric Sep 20, 1:53 p.m.
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    This has been a long-established principal in peace.

    Denouncements from the Islamic community and leaders are swift, yet not widely publicized. Awhile back I thought "why aren't the religious leaders saying anything?!?!" - and then I did the research and found out that they are, but it's not ending up as part of news stories. The media filtering out positive press to keep up the ratings is disgusting, and misleads people into thinking Muslims are complacent, uncaring, or at the worst - supportive of violence.

    Partnerships help prevent false narratives.

  • Jeff Freuler Sep 20, 10:54 a.m.
    user avatar

    Key word is "could" and no it is not the key

  • Clif Bardwell Sep 20, 9:45 a.m.
    user avatar

    What Islam could do that would go far in assailing unreasonable fears of your Muslim neighbour is, at each and every attack, the Imams must come out publicly to denounce the attack.

    Whether or not you agree with it, silence implies consent.

    Right now, non-Muslim (Christian and Jewish) people believe that Islam is a religion of hatred and violence. The Muslim leadership does little to change that view. If they would only come out and hold press conferences denouncing the actions of the radicals, those non-Muslims could see that the radicals are a small and unaccepted group.

  • Justin Briller Sep 20, 9:07 a.m.
    user avatar

    When you have a clean pen of healthy dogs everything is good, but when you introduce a dog with mange the clean healthy dogs will suffer poor health. Same thing with any other scenario, in most cases the good turn bad, not the other way around. And the best way to prevent that from happening is to keep the sick dog out of the pen.

  • Matt Clinton Sep 20, 8:42 a.m.
    user avatar

    Islam has preached the destruction or conversion of infidels far longer than our country and society has even existed. As long as those tenets exist, all the sharing and caring in the world isn't going to protect us. Islam has to fix itself.