02/12/2015 06:28 pm ET Updated Feb 14, 2015

Activists Reflect On Deaths Of Muslim Students Near UNC, Trend Of Anti-Islamic Sentiment

Three Muslim students were shot and killed near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus on Wednesday. While the shooter's motives are still unclear, HuffPost Live spoke with a panel of activists on Wednesday to place the killings in a larger context of anti-Islamic sentiment among Americans.

Social media users continue to tweet #MuslimLivesMatter to offer condolences to the families of 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad and 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, and to speak out against the media coverage of the triple homicide. Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council Haris Tarin critiqued the overall narrative surrounding Muslims.

"When American Muslims are talked about in the public, it is constantly in a negative light. And what that does to an average person is that it then has an impact on how they view even normal interactions with those individuals," he told HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill.

Although activist Deepa Iyer warned against conflating the Ferguson and Eric Garner moments with the deaths of the Muslim students, she pointed to similarities in the way that victims of color are viewed in the U.S.

"With Muslim Arab and South Asian communities, there is this pattern of profiling, pattern of surveillance, of hate violence, that we can connect to other communities of color in this country," she said. "That's why those connections with [the] Black Lives Matter [movement] is especially important."

Also On HuffPost

Learn more about #MuslimLivesMatter by watching the full HuffPost Live conversation here.

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