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Knowing Deah, Yusor and Razan

Chapel Hill VictimsIf you are anything like me, you abandoned all hope of any other work yesterday that didn’t involve closely following the reporting and commentary on the Chapel Hill shootings of Deah, Razan, and Yusor. Since the man who murdered these young people was an atheist and I am too, I was paying special attention to my community’s response. That’s because there have been on-going discussions of when rhetoric in the atheist community has veered from the robust critique of religion and religious belief (which I support) over to islamophobic, hateful rhetoric that contributes to the dehumanization of muslim people. Let’s just say I am disappointed by many voices in my community right now but also very happy with other responses in the atheist realm. If you are an atheist, now is a good time to ponder if your words and actions have contributed to islamophobic sentiment. I know that it’s something I’m thinking really hard about right now.

However, instead of dwelling on atheists, I want to focus on the victims and their families: Deah and Yusor, who were newly married, were involved with dental relief work in Syria and in their community. A humanist organization, Foundation Beyond Belief, has set up a donation drive to honor the victims by donating to the Syrian American Medical Society Foundation. Also, the family has put together a facebook page where you can learn more about the victims and get updates on what is happening with their case and the community.

For more on these murders and on the issue of islamophobia look at these articles:

To follow what people are saying on social media, see the hashtags #ChapelHillShooting, #MuslimLivesMatter, and #JusticeForMuslims

Finally, if you are active on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, consider following muslims and ex-muslims; pay attention to their voices and what they have to say about their experiences with bigotry.

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About Elsa Roberts (8 Articles)
Elsa is currently a graduate student, pursuing a M.S. in Rhetoric and Technical Communication, but her real calling is to perpetual activism and teaching. She is frequently distracted by planning actions, attending meetings, and fighting people who are wrong on the internet. Her passions are typically aroused by poor city planning for pedestrians and cyclists, casual sexism, poorly constructed arguments, and being told to “chill” about inequality. She is the current Vice President of Secular Woman and can be found tweeting wildly about a variety of subjects at elsalroberts.
Contact: Twitter

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