Riley Howell, North Carolina, Waynesville discussed on All Things Considered


Ended ten years ago this month. Now, the peace has been shattered by the bombings linked to the Islamic state. So yucca now is caught up in this global political analyst, David Young Goethe. We have suffered trauma full several decades, and they'll this brief interregnum and over the Bechtel living with troll after the war ended in two thousand. Thousand nine says horrendous Vidana gave of the bundle Nike center for international studies. Sri Lanka's, political leaders may have paid too much attention to the country's place in geopolitical rivalries in the Indian Ocean and too little on what was happening at home. You clearly see the return of foreign fighters coming from Syria towards the issue and decisions. There was a clear signal of polarization Lankan society to the right and to certain groups becoming more and more allies. So I think these things that we lost focus on and there were people who exploited that lack of focus. Old. Like this man, the fiery preachers around Hudson. Police say was the leader of last month's bombings. One of two men killed in the suicide attack at the Shangri LA hotel in Colombo. This in videos like this one he rails against nonbelievers religious leaders say they repeatedly warned authorities about sub on his message of hate to no avail, but he wasn't the only one preaching eight religious hardliners in the Buddhist majority community. Here have conducted a campaign against the Muslim minority for years, including anti-muslim riots in two thousand fourteen and again last year, it was complete impunity for these attacks mob swept through Muslim areas in burn people out. Absolutely, no one has been prosecuted for any of this. Alan Keenan issue Lanka project director for the International Crisis Group in London. And so clearly that has changed the mood within the Muslim community. They feel under siege. They feel unprotected and the government has done very little to sway those fears or to to the threat. None of this Keenan says justifies the Easter attacks, and it may not have directly contributed to them. It's hard to think it hasn't made it more likely that some small number of Muslims feeling so alienated and feeling angry might be more susceptible to extremely radical jihadi. Ideologies like I s. Two of the bombers brothers, the sons of a wealthy spice merchant lived here in the affluent neighborhood of where a twenty four year old grad student, a Muslim neighbor from a few doors down is still trying to get her head around it. They had everything they had money. They had all devout they needed they've educated. So I asked my mum. Why do you think they did this? What is wrong with them? She's angry at them for taking life and for making her wary of leaving the house since the Easter attacks. She doesn't want her name used because she's afraid and she was shocked to see what some of her schoolmates been saying about Muslims on social media since the attacks. No, I'm really scared to even step out of this Lynn with my national identity card, which has this address because you think you will be branded. Yes. Because I think I'd be Brandon. I used to be still proud, but not anymore. The civil war here ended. She says. But now now she twos. Sri Lanka is part of something much bigger. And that scares her even more Michael Sullivan NPR news Colombo on Sunday memorial services will be held for one of the victims of Tuesday's shooting at the university of North Carolina at Charlotte. Riley Howell is being hailed as a hero after police say he tackled the gunman saving untold lives, but his loss is now being felt in small North Carolina town where he grew up. Blue Ridge public radio's Corey valid court has the story shooting at UNC Charlotte injured foreign left, two dead. When their names were announced the next day, the tragedy hit home one hundred fifty miles away in a rugged corner of rural Appalachia, locals are having a hard time making sense of the senseless, but not of the heroism of native son, Riley Howell, he exhibited all the attributes that hero. Should that's Riley howls best friend twenty year old Logan king? He didn't question it. He didn't hesitate. He instantly ran at someone who was trying to hurt. Other people. People and he attempted his best to stop the person to save lives without even considering his own in king grew up backpacking, hiking snowboarding and playing football together. In waynesville, a tight knit town of ten thousand nestled in North Carolina's great smoky mountains, west of Asheville, a think I was about four years old, and we are in the same Sunday school class. I thought he looked really cool because he was kind of just like a cowboy and he was wearing a snakeskin leather Bill that I thought was really neat. And from there. It was lifelong friends, no one thought that lifelong would be so short. But when it became known that Riley Howell ran towards the gunfire in tackled. The gunman. No, one his church group leader his soccer coach his best friend thought. What how did was the least bit surprising? I would say he's free spirit. You couldn't couldn't hold him down yet to let him go, and you had to let him he had to let him lead to let him go the path that he was going to go Riley hells path was winding, but never wavered his parents instilled in their son, the strong moral code that earned reputation as a leader Mitch. Sure for his age, his seventh grade teacher Susanna. Shelly remembers how wanting to work with disabled school kids. They could choose to do, you know, folk art or P or or cores or whatever. And and he chose to be a peer helper in that in that development delayed class. How will try to join the ashville fire department, but was rejected for being too young? He also thought about the military, but at the time of the shooting he was finishing up the last day of his junior year at UNC eventually hope to work as a forest ranger or a game warden. His body was brought from Charlotte Thursday by a motorcade that included police fire and military escort crowds, waving American flags lined main street in waynesville to welcome him home. He would probably think it was kind of neat to have all the firetrucks police and everything driving around. But I think he would ultimately not not want to be praised the way he is. He he wanted to remain humble, I think as this tiny community now begins to heal a trying to howl is already taking shape near where a memorial service will be held in his honor this Sunday for NPR news. I'm Cory Vallon court in waynesville, North Carolina. Tomorrow on weakened addition Saturday, we meet a couple whose love stories started off on familiar ground. We chatted for hours and hours and that day. I remember thinking this this girl's gonna be somebody special in my life. That was before the supreme court affirmed a version of President Trump's travel ban targeted at seven countries. Now, he's in New Jersey, and she's in her home country of Iran, unsure of how they'll be reunited love and the travel ban tomorrow morning..

Coming up next