Raleigh, N.C. — There are an estimated 26,000 Muslims in North Carolina. That’s less than one percent of the state’s population, but also reflects a 30 percent increase in the number of Muslims living in our state over just ten years.
Some are converts but most come from other states and other countries. They say they come for many of the same reasons others do – good colleges and universities, good career opportunities and an overall good quality of life.
While Muslims have been living and working in North Carolina for decades, many say their lives changed after 9/11. They say the terrorist attacks cast them in a shadow of suspicion. The recent convictions of several Raleigh Muslims in a terror plot cast new doubts among some non-Muslims.
But local Muslims and experts on Islam say it is a peaceful religion very similar to Christianity. They say terrorism and Islam have nothing to do with one another and that extremists are a minority of Muslims who cloak themselves in Islam in an attempt to gain credibility.
The new WRAL Documentary “Faith, Fear and Freedom” explores the lives of Muslims living in our state and examines the anti-Islamic prejudice and discrimination that is fueled by the actions of Islamic extremists.
“Faith, Fear and Freedom," hosted by WRAL News anchor David Crabtree, aired Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.
- The Association of Religious Data Archives
Additional interview excerpts:
Maleiha Malik, professor at King's College in London whose area of expertise is anti-discrimination law
Zainab Baloch, president of the North Carolina State University Muslim Students Association
Screening, discussion at Duke University
The public is invited to attend a free screening of WRAL’s documentary, “Faith, Fear and Freedom,” at Duke University, followed by a panel discussion on North Carolina’s growing Muslim population, on April 18.
WRAL's David Crabtree, an Emmy award winning TV anchor, will moderate the panel discussion that follows the screening, and audience members are encouraged to ask questions.