Last night, more than a thousand mourners gathered for a candlelight vigil at UNC for the three college students murdered nearby. Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her younger sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were shot and killed on Tuesday night by a neighbor. All three students were Muslims, and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
Since the senseless shootings, another remembrance has been flooding the social media sphere, with posts tagged #MuslimLivesMatter. It is, of course, an echo of the recent #BlackLivesMatter hashtag that went viral in the aftermath of the police killings of two unarmed black men: Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO and Eric Garner in New York.
Just like with #BlackLivesMatter, people are using the tag to mourn, rage, and seek answers. The killings in North Carolina were slow to garner the widespread attention the incident deserved, and the campaign initially started as a way to drum up media coverage. The end goal, though, is presumably larger: to seek justice for the victims and their families, to make sure that hate-crime claims are thoroughly investigated, and to start a national conversation about the discrimination Muslims still face in the U.S.
Here are some of the more powerful #MuslimLivesMatter posts we’ve seen making the rounds this week: