WATCH: North Carolina Muslims — Faith, Fear & Freedom (WRAL)

[ 0 ] December 20, 2012

by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCommentary, DECEMBER 19, 2012: 

There are an estimated 26,000 Muslims in North Carolina. While that’s less than one percent of the state’s population, it also reflects a 30 percent increase in the number of Muslims living in the state over the past decade.

WRAL-TV (Raleigh, North Carolina’s CBS TV affiliate station) recently produced a documentary called Faith, Fear & Freedom that  examines the challenges Muslims face living in North Carolina — a predominately non-Muslim society — and the anti-Islamic prejudice and discrimination that is fueled by the actions of Islamic extremists.

The documentary  debuted  in the Raleigh, NC (WRAL-TV) and Wilmington NC (WILM-TV) markets on December 20 at 7 p.m.

Faith, Fear & Freedom is now available for online viewing (see below).  The producers have invited viewers to join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #NCMuslims.

Duke professors Jen’nan Read (Associate Professor of Sociology and Global Health) and David Schanzer (Associate Professor of the Practice of Public Policy and Director,Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security ) as well as Carl Ernst (Kenan Distinguished Professor of Islamic studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and author of the forthcoming book Islamophobia in America), were interviewed for the documentary.

Other sources include spokespeople for the Islamic Center of Charlotte and the Islamic Association of Raleigh and other Muslim Americans living in North Carolina.

WATCH PREVIEW

WATCH FULL DOCUMENTARY 

(Description via WRAL)

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, working and raising families in North Carolina for decades, many say their lives changed after 9/11. They say they still feel the suspicion of non-Muslims who associate their Islamic faith with terrorism. 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:  This documentary examines the importance of the Islamic faith to devout Muslims, the differences between Christianity and Islam and the myths many have about Islam and terrorism.

Fear: This documentary examines the fear some people have towards Muslims based on the acts of radical Islamic extremists, including some right here in North Carolina.

Freedom:  This documentary examines the constitutional freedom of religion that appeals to many Muslims in our state and the conflict between that freedom and anti-Islamic discrimination.

 

For more information, including documentary producer Clay Johnson’s behind-the-scenes take read: Listen to the Moderate Muslim Voices

The documentary will air in Charlotte on WMYT-TV on Jan. 5 at 5:00pm and on WJZY-TV on Jan. 6 at 10:00pm, and in Durham (WRAZ-TV) on January 19 at 1:30pm. It will be viewable online following the Dec. 20 broadcast. 

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