Yesterday the United States and the rest of the world was jolted awake from the cacophony that sounded from the sleepy college town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in which three Muslim students were murdered in cold blood. The story goes that the shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, carried out the triple homicide over a parking dispute with the victims: Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor, and Yusor’s sister, Razan.
Of course, Hicks’ lawyers are playing the insanity defense and bringing up the case of mental health in America, but to this cynic this is the cheap way out. Many will agree that this was indeed an isolated incident-and it was, but there have been signs of heightened feelings of resentment (a very mild way of putting it) towards Muslims in the U.S. that make for a solid refutation of that case. If the by-and-large bigoted, violent, and panicked reactions to American Sniper and the rise of the Islamic State don’t indicate this, I don’t know what will.
At first I was skeptical of his reported motives, as well as the reports of Hicks being a hateful man who preferred the club to conversation in settling disputes-the reason for this being that the victims’ relations were the ones making that claim. But with reports now surfacing that he was a self-described “anti-theist” that spent his time slamming Christians on Facebook, and that he’d always bring a gun to any fight, things are beginning to get a lot clearer.
Not to mention he straight-up stormed into their apartment and shot them all in the head. That’ll teach those horrible, ignorant, God-fearing neighbors not to mess with his parking space.
But something does strike me in all of this: I feel like the gruesome execution of Jordanian pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh (who, I might add, was Muslim) courted more attention from the mainstream media than did yesterday’s shooting. Could it be because his killers were Muslim, and not a white, gun-toting paralegal in training (yeah, good luck with that now, buddy) straight from whitebread America? It reminds me of a quote I saw on Twitter shortly after hearing the news: “Muslims seems to make more headlines when they’re on one side of the gun instead of the other”.
One thing remains clear through all of this mess: we are surrounded by hateful, bloodthirsty fiends and sociopaths who will look for any excuse and opportunity to shed some blood. Whatever the solution to this may be, something needs to be done, otherwise shit will continue hitting the fan until it jams.
Rest in Peace, Deah, Yusor and Razan