Three Murders in Chapel Hill

As probably all of you know, we have experienced a heart-wrenching tragedy here in Chapel Hill, as three young, happy, and good Muslim students were murdered on Tuesday, point-blank, in their home.   The issue is tangential to the topics I normally deal with on the blog, but I did want to take time out to reflect a bit on what has happened. On Wednesday I did something that I’ve never done before in my 30 years of university teaching.   I blew off the lecture for the day and discussed the issue with my class of 240 students – giving them my thoughts about the matter, having one of my teaching assistants, a graduate student who is an expert in Islam, say a few words from his perspective, and, mainly, letting the undergraduate students emote and express their views and concerns and ask questions.  For many of the students it was a welcome catharsis. The big issue that is being posed in the newspapers – at least the local ones (less so the national ones, and [...]