On Wednesday morning, after reports that three Muslims had been shot by a gunman near the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill on Tuesday night, the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter began to trend on Twitter as Muslims and others tried to raise awareness of the victims and their lives. Many people called for more media attention to the three students’ deaths. Though it is not yet known if the victims’ faith was a factor in the killings, many people on Twitter asked whether their deaths should be considered a hate crime.
Many people used the hashtag to pay tribute to the lives of the three victims: Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad, 19. Barakat was a dental student at the University of North Carolina, and Yusor Mohammad was slated to begin studies there in the fall. Razan Mohammad was an undergraduate student at North Carolina State University.
As of 9 a.m. ET, #MuslimLivesMatter had 23,000 mentions on Twitter and was a trending topic across the U.S. on Twitter.