The murder of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha, three young Muslims from North Carolina with promising futures, has shaken the Muslim community in the United States. What Craig Hicks did in ending the life of these three beautiful souls was evil. As Muslims in times of difficulty we find relief in the Qur’an, what we believe to be the literal words of God. In the Quran, God tells us to “respond to evil with that which is the best.” No one embodied “that which is the best” like Deah, Yusor, and Razan.

Youth play such an important role in today’s society. Youth are the upcoming leaders of the world. As Muslims and Americans who have been raised on, and agree with, the fundamentals of freedom and equality, God willing we will have the ability to call out inequality before it progresses and before tragedies like this happen again.

Youth need to push to inform the world of the criminal actions on human life like the Chapel Hill killings of Deah, Yusor, and Razan Abu-Salha, who were not only Muslim Americans, but also college students at North Carolina State who dedicated their lives to serve those in need. They were servants to their community and servants to God. So we honor them, and we honor God by continuing their legacy and striving to be the best students, the best Muslims and the best human beings.

Not many die and leave legacies such as the legacies of Deah, Yusor and Razan. They invested into their communities by maintaining ties with their faith, country, family and friends. Being Muslim-American is not a mutually exclusive label. It is a one that empowers and humbles. The day of our vigil, which was organized by the Muslim Student Association on UTSA Main Campus honoring the Chapel Hill three, we were relieved to see fellow UTSA students support us. It is overwhelmingly beautiful to see so much good come out of a tragedy that not only affected Muslims, but thousands of Americans. The empathy on this campus has given me so much hope.

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