Wednesday, February 11, 2015

My Thoughts on the Chapel Hill Tragedy: Islamophobia Rears Its Ugly Head

The Internet was going nuts today after tragic news broke of three young Muslim students who were gunned down by a older white man over what the news glossed over as a "parking dispute". 

You can read the full story at the link below. LINK: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/chapel-hill-shooting-three-young-muslims-gunned-down-in-north-carolina-at-their-family-home-10037734.html

Police say a dispute over a parking space spurred the murder Tuesday of three North Carolina college students, but the Muslim father of two of the victims insisted Wednesday that his daughters' neighbor and alleged killer had menaced them before and was driven by hate.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder after turning himself in to police in Chapel Hill overnight. Although a Facebook page in Hicks' name that described him as a supporter of “Atheists for Equality” and blasted “radical Christians and radical Muslims" for causing strife in the world prompted rampant suspicion the crime was motivated by hate, police said Wednesday it was about a parking space at the condominium complex where the murders took place.

Those killed were Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Raleigh, N.C. resident Razan Abu-Salha, Chapel Hill Police said in a statement.

“It was execution-style, a bullet in every head,” the women’s father, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, a psychiatrist, told the Raleigh News-Observer.
“This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far.”

Abu-Salha said his daughter, who lived next door to Hicks, wore a Muslim head scarf and told her family a week ago that she had “a hateful neighbor.”

“'Honest to God, he hates us for what we are and how we look,’” the distraught father quoted his daughter as saying.
My Thoughts:


May Allah have mercy on their souls and admit them to paradise as martyrs. The three not only were excellent students but they were humanitarians, working tirelessly to help those less fortunate both domestically and overseas. We lost some good ones, but I'm certain they'll be happy with where they end up.

One of the most beautiful things about social media is that people have the power to bring things to the forefront when the media isn't giving it the proper coverage. Twitter and Facebook blew up sharing this piece to the point where the main outlets needed to give it the coverage it deserved. The trending hashtag for the story was #MuslimLivesMatter as people all around the internet gave their condolences for the victims and condemned the killer for his hateful act.

We hate to bring up this argument. Y'know, the "If it was the other way around" argument, but it consistently rings true. If a Muslim went ahead and blasted away three white people over a "parking dispute" we all know damn well that news outlets would spout "he's a radical Muslim nut who hates Infidels--that's what they're all about" and it'd be all we hear about from everywhere and terrorism would be the keyword, but this story was being swept under the rug because Muslims were the innocent victims. 

This Craig Hicks guy is a proud card-carrying atheist, but based on his Facebook profile, he was a militant atheist and hated Islam and Muslims especially and made it known. So for this incident to be over a "parking dispute" is pure bull. The father of one of the victims confirms he hated and harrassed them and would be very abusive towards them. So if it did start out as a parking dispute, for Craig Hicks, it was an excuse for him to go get his gun and shoot some Muslims just for the sake of killing Muslims.

And as is the case for gun-carriers who have a gun for protection or cause it's their Amurrican right, they just can't wait to use it for the first time FOR ANYTHING, even when its totally unneccessary.  I know if I was a policeman and had a gun, part of me would be excited (yet also friggin terrified) when I'm finally in a situation that calls for me to pull it out the holster. 

So one can only imagine the average joe who has a gun in their house or carries one but has never had to use it; the thought of "I wonder when I'm gonna finally have to pull this out" lingers. More often than not bad guys aren't killed over it, innocent teens with skittles in their pockets are killed for looking too ghetto or those pesky Muslim college students get blown away.

I'm smart enough to know that not all atheist white folks think like this so I'm not going to demand Caucasian atheists to condemn the actions of "one of their own". It should go both ways though especially with all the headache Muslims get with the "You need to condemn *insert bad crap that went down involving a brown guy*". When an ISIS member or Al-Qaeda kook does something stupid and kills somebody, we're supposed to apologize for that bastard? Get outta here.

Islamophobia is definitely to blame for this incident and similar ones like it because these anti-Muslim groups influence the media to scare the hell out of the general public over what Islam's about when they really have no idea what the religion stands for. The majority of people don't think critically enough to go read for themselves and eat up whatever the machine feeds them. So these scare tactics are just creating folks that are afraid and hate Muslims blindly and when they see one, they put their dukes up or in this case, draw their weapons.

Another takeaway of this story for Muslims living in the US is to BE CAREFUL. Because of Islamophobia, people are on edge and the unreasonable idiots like Craig Hicks may jump at the opportunity to let their true feelings be known. Craig Hicks is like a YouTube commenter in real life: a vile, unrelenting, hate-filled moron. You think you'd never meet one of those guys in real life because they stay in their basement all day commenting but occassionally those idiots go outside and if they are really ballsy they'll do something like what Craig Hicks did. We have to be careful and keep our heads on a swivel.

My heart goes out to the victims and their families and hopefully this man is brought to justice. Let's stop the hate and educate ourselves and get along. #MuslimLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter.

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