One week following the murders of three local college students, the many in the Triangle community are still working toward healing.

A North Carolina grand jury indicted Craig Hicks—the man accused of killing Deah Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha in their Chapel Hill apartment—on three counts of first-degree murder Monday. Hicks allegedly shot and killed the three Muslim students, in what police say was a crime sparked by a dispute over a parking space. But the victims friends and family have called the killings a hate crime—inspiring a national conversation about Islamaphobia in America.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched its own investigation of the murder Friday to determine whether federal laws were violated.

"No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like or how they worship," President Barack Obama said in a statement Friday. "Michelle and I offer our condolences to the victims’ loved ones. As we saw with the overwhelming presence at the funeral of these young Americans, we are all one American family."

The killings have prompted conversations about Islamophobia around the world—with Saudia Arabia declaring the killings a "heinous" and "terrorist" act in a statement Sunday and thousands in Qatar marching in solidarity with the victims.

Abdullah Antepli, the chief representative of Muslim affairs at Duke, said conversations about anti-Muslim bias have increased because Islamophobia is on the rise.

“We are worse off today vis-à-vis anti-Muslim sentiments in American society than Sep 12, 2001,” Antepli said.

Though he sees anti-Islamic sentiments as increasing around the world, Antelpi noted that it was not so much of a force at Duke.

“There is no element of any anti-Islam, anti-Muslim sentiments on Duke’s campus,” Antepli said. “Duke has been modeling to the rest of the nation and other higher educational institutions how to engage with the world of Islam and Muslims in a post 9/11 USA.”

Antelpi was also critical of the media’s portrayal of the events and of coverage of Muslims more broadly, stating that the coverage would have been more sensationalized had the identities of the victims and perpetrator been reversed.

While the killings come in close proximity to the cancellation of the use of Duke Chapel for the weekly Adhan in January, Antelpi did not see a direct connection between the two events.

"If the Chapel Hill murders end up declared as a hate crime by our federal law enforcement officials and the killer is convicted of hate crime, one can talk about possible connections," he said.

He added that the Islamaphobia of some of the opponents of the adhan may have contributed to the broader increase in Islamophobia in America.

“I have no doubt, personally speaking, in my mind that their “victory” of “cancellation of the Adhan from Duke Chapel tower” has given regretful power to those exclusive and hateful voices in our society,” he said.

Abdullah noted that there are no simple solutions to countering Islamophobia but that education, dialogue and statements denouncing hate are important steps to take. He said that Islamophobia is just another manifestation of the same forms of hate that spawned racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia and others.

“They all come from the same human weakness in reaction to certain realities and they all can be cured if the society come together with required courage and wisdom,” he said.