WRAL Documentary: Faith, Fear and Freedom

Posted December 4, 2012
Updated June 4, 2013

— 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.

Triangle Muslim: 'Know us before you judge us' WRAL Documentary: Faith, Fear and Freedom

“Faith, Fear and Freedom," hosted by WRAL News anchor David Crabtree, aired Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.

Online resources:

Additional interview excerpts:

Maleiha Malik, professor at King's College in London whose area of expertise is anti-discrimination law

Maleiha Malik

You were in the Triangle area recently to talk about anti-Muslim discrimination in the US and Europe. What was your message?

Maleiha MalikYou mentioned the controversy over Sharia law here in the U.S. What exactly is Sharia law?
Maleiha MalikWhat is generating so much fear of Islam and Muslims?
Maleiha MalikDo you think some people have an internal prejudice towards Muslims and don’t even realize it?
Maleiha MalikWhat’s your reaction when you see violent reactions from Muslims abroad to an anti-Islamic video on You Tube or a cartoon poking fun at the prophet Muhammad?
Maleiha MalikDo you have concerns about more anti-Islamic prejudice affecting the Muslim community in North Carolina?


Zainab Baloch, president of the North Carolina State University Muslim Students Association

Zainab BalochWhere were you on 9/11 and what was that day like for you?
Zainab BalochDid you go out in public that day wearing your head scarf?
Zainab BalochHow do you think Muslims are portrayed?
Zainab BalochWhat’s it like being a Muslim student at N.C. State?
Zainab BalochHave you faced any discrimination on campus?
Zainab BalochDo you think people even realize there are Muslim students on our college campuses across North Carolina?

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.

Islam in NC: WRAL doc screening and discussion Islam in NC: WRAL doc screening and discussion


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  • aboobidah Dec 22, 2012

    Thank you WRAL, and thanks to all comments. it is helpful to see what kind of information that Moslems should deliver and how hard they need to work to introduce facts on Islam. I do not know of a scientific evidence that links any faith to murder and kidnapping. or else how could we explain actions of those children killers from Columbine to Sandy Hook, let alone the daily crimes on our streets. let the statistics and facts speaks.

  • aspenstreet1717 Dec 21, 2012

    European countries have had a lot of problems with Muslim immigration. Maybe the US should consider this when allowing Muslims to move here.

  • itsyoureternalsoul Dec 21, 2012

    You are right njspeach that is why Muslims kidnap, murder and torture so many Christians. It is the RESPECT

  • wildlife Dec 21, 2012

    I wonder how many of you out there have read the Quran, obviously not many. David Crabtree needs to and to the individuals who wrote this documentary I suggest you do your homework. Jesus himself said I am The way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through me. Any other profession other than that is an Apostacy and false teaching, also in the Quran, Islam teaches that Jesus will kill all Infadels who do not convert to Islam.... now is that all warm and fuzzy I think not. People better wake up, do your research know the truth, it's out there find it and all this dialouge will cease.

  • njspeach Dec 20, 2012

    To finish my above statement: They respect Christianity and I believe we as Christians should do the same.

  • njspeach Dec 20, 2012

    I never leave comments online, but I had to this time. To WRAL and David Crabtree...Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! I myself am Christian, however my father is Muslim. Just like there are violent extremists who hide behind Jesus, there are violent extremists who hide behind Islam. Thank you for highlighting that the overwhelming majority of Muslims are good, decent people who are actually called by their faith to do good works in their community. They are not out shouting from the rooftops that they are good and nothing at all like the extremists, they are actually in their communities everyday showing through their works that they are good.

    To other Christians out there who say that Muslims are anti-Christian, this is simply not true. No they don't believe that Jesus was resurrected (that would mean they believed he was divine and they would just be Christians), but they do believe that Jesus was a prophet.

  • itsyoureternalsoul Dec 20, 2012

    I am confused about the scope of this "documentary".
    All the Islamic people in the U.S. are "coasting" on the blessings and freedoms of Christianity and/or Judaism.

    Jesus Christ warned us of false prophets to come after Him-- that we would be able to discern by their wives, girl-as-gift acceptances and making armies to go conquer infidel lands.

    Jesus Christ told His followers that the day was coming when murderers would murder His followers and the murderers would think they were doing a service for god.

    What are the fellow Muslims doing about "violent fundaMentalist Muslims"? Nothing.

    Any seeker of information about Islam needs to find out the spiritual ways Holy Prophet Mohammed:
    A) Made money.
    B) Married his wives and their ages.
    C) Built an army and invaded.
    D) Treated other religions [infidels].
    E) Subordinated women. F) Started hating Israel

    Allah does not love. Neither do the followers of Allah. THERE IS NO IDEOLOGY ON EARTH AS CRUEL AS ISLAM

  • bgibson3 Dec 19, 2012

    Until 9/11 Muslims were hardly on the radar for me. And until a year or so ago, when a Florida(?) pastor threatened to burn the Koran, I knew little about what the Religion taught. I decided to read some of the Koran, and I didn't have to go far to realize that if the Koran is all true, then even the most mild mannered Muslim believer of Islam is "anti-Christ". The Koran seems to say that Jesus didn't actually die on the cross, but God plucked Him to safety, and put someone else in His place... and if that is so, then there is no point to being a Christian.

    " is a peaceful religion very similar to Christianity" may be so, but it is in direct contradiction to Christianity.