Passion In Practice: Muslims of the Carolinas (video)

There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” – Rumi, 13th century Persian poet

From the musings of a poet to the pirouette of a ballerina to the notes on a violinist’s music sheets, these embodiments of Islam render it an intricate and live form of art. From the classroom to the community center, Muslims in North Carolina embody Islam in unique and vibrant ways. In the fall of 2013, the first installment of our exhibit featured Muslim students and scholars embodying Islam through the pursuit of their passions.

For the second installment of #PassioninPractice, we traveled across the state of North Carolina in the first months of 2015 to meet Muslim community members who shape their communities in beautiful ways. Through rain, little sleep and biting wind, we drove treading our own dotted line on the map of NC. From book stores and bakeries to eco-boxes and hospitals we sat down with the people who have helped build this community: writers, architects, chaplains, scientists, bakers, artists, politicians, and more. We are inspired by the people we met. We want to share their stories with you.

Check out their interviews here! This video and photos of the beautiful people we met are on display in the University of North Carolina Student Union art gallery, and all photos will be published on this site in summer 2015.

With the rise in negative portrayals of Muslims in the press and fear-mongering legislation, so has risen Islamophobic rhetoric and verbal or physical harm to Muslims. This exhibit is therefore also an alternative view of one of the largest religions in the world, through a peek into the lives and passions of its followers. It is for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, because it portrays the various ways in which Islam is embodied beyond the 5 pillars, and showcases the physical and intellectual diversity of Muslims in North Carolina.

The greatest tragedy is that the people who best represented the passion for selfless giving to a community, are no longer with us. This exhibit is in honor of them: Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha #OurThreeWinners

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