Chapel Hill murders: Craig Hicks was driven to murder by race, politics, abortion laws and unarmed targets
Chapel Hill murders: news on alleged murderer Craig Hicks and the three victims: Deah Shaddy Barakat, wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister Raza.
Having heard the story of three innocent students shot dead in North Carolina, one writer immediately called it a hate crimne and castigated the Press for “ignoring” Muslim deaths.
Last night, the BBC says “thousands of mourners have gathered for the funeral of three Muslim students killed in North Carolina”.
The father of two of the victims told the crowd they were victims of a hate crime and his pain was indescribable… Police say initial indications suggest there was a parking space dispute but they are investigating whether Craig Hicks was motivated by religious hate…
The BBC’s Rajini Vaidyanathan said many mourners feel the murders were sparked by something far deeper than a parking row.
Chapel Hill police chief, Chris Blue, spoke at the service and promised his officers would investigate every lead, including the possibility of hate crime…
Is feeling it was hate crime enough to make it one?
Sarah, who grew up with all three [vcitims] and says she’s experienced Islamophobia, articulated a view many shared: “You have to have a lot of hate in your heart to kill three people in cold blood, and over a parking spot, it’s ridiculous to say this was just that”.
Crimes often are ridiculous to the victims and the sane.
Mr Hicks’ Facebook profile included a photo that read “Atheists for Equality”. He also frequently posted quotes critical of religion.But Mr Hicks’ wife Karen said the incident had nothing to do with religion and her husband treated everyone equally…
He’s not racist. He could have gunned down anyone, allegedly. The guy’s an equal opportunities killer?
But others see the killings as part of a wider problem.
Muslim and civil rights organisations are organising more vigils across the country for Thursday evening.
Civil rights? The three victism were not oppressed. They were killed by a killer.
Mr Hicks apparently had a history of conflicts with neighbours over parking spaces.
Do we see what we want to see?
TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticised US President Barack Obama for his silence over the murder of three Muslim students in the US. He said politicians were responsible for events in their countries and had to clarify their stance over them.
You might weep with laughter when Erdogen talks of the buck for murder stopping at the top. He says:
“If you stay silent when faced with an incident like this, and don’t make a statement, the world will stay silent towards you. As politicians, we are responsible for everything that happens in our countries and we have to show our positions.”
The New York Times takes a stab at circumspection:
Mr. Hicks’s wife, Karen, insisted at a news conference that her husband was not a bigot. “I can say with absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion or the victims’ faith, but it was related to a longstanding parking dispute that my husband had with the neighbors,” she said.
His wife also pointed out his support for gay rights and the right to abortion.
It’s also alleged Hicks supports shooting people in the head. His views might be a little odd.
Linda Sarsour, a longtime Arab-American activist in Brooklyn, who said she was working with the family, added that for those who fear mistreatment, the episode “sends a message to other young people in the Muslim community that the fear is valid.”
Were the victims targetted becsue they were Muslim? We don’t know. Maybe he just knew they’d be unarmed? CNN overlooks the Muslim angle in its headline:
3 students shot to death in apartment near UNC Chapel Hill
The Guardian hears views:
“There were several incidents involving him harassing and threatening my brother,” Farris Barakat told the Guardian, adding that Hicks had come to their apartment at least four times, and that in the more recent visits he had “pulled his jacket to show his gun, almost like brandishing it”.
Farris said that Yusor and Deah had been afraid of Hicks, and that they had previously discussed reporting him to the police, and that both Yusor and her mother – who wore headscarfs – had sensed hostility from him based on their religious attire.
Barakat’s comments echo those of Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of the two women killed.
Abu-Salha, a psychiatrist in Clayton, told the Raleigh News & Observer that his daughter had recently told her parents that they had a “hateful neighbour”.
The New Yorker offers:
So there you have it. Some people are sensitive about parking. One such person stood his ground. Now three young innocents are dead, and he’s being held without bond in the county jail. A lamentable affair, but, told like that, shorn of all context, it’s not unlike a song on the radio, folkloric. Our imaginations are primed to grasp it…
What’s hard to get one’s mind around is that everyone who’s singing this tune—the police, the wife, the prosecutor—seems to think that it’s reassuring. Getting blown away by a neighbor just because he’s pissed off at you for some ridiculous reason has become the equivalent of a natural disaster in our country, with our gun culture. It’s got nothing to do with the killer’s ideology, or with the victim’s identity. That’s the thinking. And, with this “parking” alibi, we’re being asked to imagine that these killings are a private tragedy, not some big public deal—not terrorism, not even like terrorism. We’re being told to believe that the vigilante killing of three young Americans is socially and politically meaningless.
It seems we are also supposed to be relieved by the fact that Hicks, who carried a gun to earlier confrontations with his neighbors, was not a religious fanatic. Are we then supposed to ignore the fact that he was an anti-religious fanatic, who was said to have taunted the women he later killed for dressing according to their traditions and beliefs? We are told that he was in favor of gay marriage, as if that negated his militant intolerance of others. He spent most of his time on Facebook heaping contempt on Christians, who are more numerous by far in Hicks’s neck of the woods than Muslims. And yet with law-enforcement sounding like Hicks-family spin doctors, we are being urged to consider this murderer as a figure of all-embracing American assimilation—a man who did not care who they were but hated them as he would hate anyone and everyone, equally and without fear or favor, for the way they parked.
The Weekley Standard:
“Somehow, if he had liked Sean Hannity and the Southern Baptist Convention instead of Rachel Maddow and the Freedom from Religion Foundation, I don’t think we would witness the media restraint we’re seeing when it comes to connecting this killer’s politics to his terrible deeds. And again, I would note the irony of his fondness for the Southern Poverty Law Center. By the SPLC’s own logic, the SPLC shares responsibility for another hate crime. Now that the SPLC has been hoisted by its own petard twice in a few years, I hope it and other liberal groups act more responsibly the next time they want to blame a tragic crime on someone’s personal politics.”
The Blazes sees inconsistency:
“It is ironic that in the wake of President Barack Obama’s remarks about a ‘random’ attack by a Muslim terrorist on a Kosher supermarket — note that the White House will not call it a jihadist attack on Jews — in the case of the victims in North Carolina, again from the start they were identified as Muslims. Randomness is clearly in the eye of the beholder.”