It is with shock and profound sadness that we learn this morning of the murder of three young Muslim students in Chapel Hill, NC. The Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society (CSRCS) condemns not only this heinous act but also the vilification of Islam that has become commonplace in public discourse, social and broadcast media, and political debate in the United States. Although law enforcement appears to have named a personal dispute as the motive for the crime, this incident cannot be understood apart from an environment of pervasive, ill-informed, and malicious Islamophobia that Muslims in the United States routinely encounter. Such an atmosphere can--and has often in the past--contributed to acts of deplorable violence like this one. Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha were bright young minds who had already done much good and brought much happiness in the course of their short lives. Their embodiment of Islamic faith through peace and service to others in need stands in direct contrast to the heinous crime to which they fell victim. North Carolina is much impoverished by their loss. The CSRCS calls on the Elon community to take special care at this moment to ensure that the safety and well-being of our Muslim students, faculty, and staff among is ensured. With condolences to all who grieve,
The CSRCS Advisory Committee
The Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society is the research arm of the Elon University multi-faith center, which is located in the heart of campus and seeks to foster a diverse community of study, discourse and practice that promotes mutual understanding and respect across and within religious traditions and belief systems and contributes to the development of global citizenship.
The Elon Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society highlights and promotes the interdisciplinary study of religion, culture, and society. This faculty-led center draws together faculty from disciplines across Elon’s campus, with students, staff, community members, and experts from the region and beyond. The Center will work to foster research, teaching, and dialogue that informs community knowledge and action.
The Center offers rich and varied resources to fulfill the university’s vision of encouraging spiritual formation and expression, promoting religious literacy and respect for diverse faith traditions and world views, examining the role of religion in society, and supporting research and scholarship on religion. The Center invites broad participation of community members into meaningful dialogue, regardless of personal professions of faith, as a reflection of our commitment to modeling the respectful exchange of ideas and perspectives.
Center Intiatives include:
David Gushee, professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University, will speak about supporting Full LGBT Acceptance in church and society on campus at 4:15 p.m. and at Elon Community Church at 7 p.m.
Assistant Professor Amy L. Allocco, the university's distinguished emerging scholar in religious studies, will conduct ethnographic fieldwork to achieve a better understanding of Hindu practices in modern day India.
A Feb. 19, 2015, guest lecture by Professor Michel Bondurand of the NC Consortium Paris program spoke about the way Muslims in France practice their faith.
Students, faculty and staff expressed their deep sorrow, lit candles and prayed together as they honored the three Muslim students who were murdered this week