Chapel Hill Shooting: Slain Newlywed Talked About Growing Up Muslim in America

Yusor Mohammad interviewed her former teacher months before she was killed.

Months before she was shot and killed, Yusor Mohammad, 21, gave an interview where she talked about growing up Muslim in America and what she learned from her Muslim elementary school teacher.

Today WUNC released an interview with Yusor Mohammad conducted with her former elementary school teacher, Mussarat Jabeen, for the StoryCorps, an oral history project that aims to create an archive of interviews for future generations.

In the lengthy interview Mohammad and Jabeen talked about the “beauty” of inclusion and tolerance they saw in their community.

“That’s the beautiful thing here is that it doesn’t matter where you come from there’s so many different people from so many different places of different backgrounds and religions,” said Mohammad. “But here we’re all one, one culture.”

Mohammad also recalled an important lesson her Jabeen taught her when she was in the third grade. When she asked for something, Jabeen told her she should not try to take, but instead held her hand out in a giving gesture.

“So give don’t take, be less selfish and giving open, compassionate, caring,” said Mohammad of the lesson.

When Mohammad asked her former teacher what is the one thing Jabeen would tell the world, the teacher answered with “peace.”

“Live in peace…that’s what I would say,” said Jabeen. “Make this world a place where everybody has the right to live and we don’t fight over our differences but learn to accept our differences and learn how we can make this world a better place to live keeping our differences aside and focusing on our similarities.”

In a new interview today on WUNC’s show “The State of Things” Jabeen said she wanted to tell Mohammad’s story to honor her and her husband, who was also a student at Jabeen’s school.

“I keep referring to them as children because they are my children,” Jabeen told WUNC. “I just kept thinking about it 'What can I do?' They are the ones who have taught me to be stronger and I have learned to be stronger just because of their faith in who they are and what they want to contribute to the world.”

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