Three Muslims in NC Are Dead Because of Hate

Victims of Hate Crime or parking dispute.

On Tuesday night, Craig Stephen Hicks shot 3 people execution style. This is not a whodunit. The big question is why. Were these murders a hate crime or “just” the result of a parking dispute? As Michael Wells pointed out, the fact that the media was um slow to report on this story already tells us about a general attitude when victims of horrific crimes are Muslims.

The families of Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha say that when Craig Stephen Hicks killed the three college students it was a hate crime. The police and Hicks’ wife claim Hicks shot his victims execution style, over an ongoing “parking dispute.”

In an ideal world, all crimes would be investigated with the same objectivity and with the same desire to follow the evidence where it leads. In an ideal world, the goal would be to see justice served for every victim of crime. No one would suggest that someone deserved to die based on their religion, their race or their political beliefs. Of course, in a perfect world no one would kill someone based on their religion, their race, their political beliefs or for that matter their sexual orientation.

That’s not the world we live in. In the hours since Kayla Mueller’s death was confirmed, conservatives seized the opportunity to declare her “an anti-Israel b***ch“because Kayla, a humanitarian worker, provided aid in predominantly Muslim parts of the world. In cases involving minorities as victims, all too often, the police and the media put the victim on trial. We saw it with Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Gardner, just to name a few.

In that ideal world that I referred to, reasonable people would say “it’s too early to draw conclusions about Hicks’ motives. Let’s see what the investigation turns up.

In our reality, it’s almost as if there’s an effort to get ahead of the facts to frame the narrative of a horrible crime that left 3 young college students dead, their families mourning and the rest of us reacting.

Here’s what we do know. Police were called to a condominium near the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill after 5:00 pm on Tuesday evening. They found the three victims dead. Hours later 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks surrendered to police and was charged with 3 counts of first degree murder.On Wednesday morning, police said in a statement, it looks like this crime was the result of a parking dispute.

We know that 3 young people died needlessly because Hicks shot them execution style. The point of dispute is over his motive.

We know that Deah Barakat aged 23 and Yussor Mohammed aged 21 were newlyweds, married on December 27, 2014. Barakat studied dentistry. He raised thousands of dollars to provide dental care for victims of the Syria crisis. He also volunteered to provide the homeless in Chapel Hill with food and dental supplies. According to Buzzfeed, Barakat described his parents, Layla Fanary Barakat and Namee Barakat as “the greatest parents a kid could ask for.”

Had she lived, Yussor Mohammed was going to study dentistry too. Last year she completed her degree in human biology. She was scheduled to begin studying dentistry this August.

Razan Mohammad was a 19 year old student majoring in architecture and environmental design. She supported charities like Global Deaf Muslim, which advocated for equal access to Islam to people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

According to various reports, Hicks was a self-described “anti-theist”.

The victims’ families held press conferences today, calling for this case to be investigated as a hate crime.

Dr. Mohammed Abu-Salha, the women’s father, said:

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.

Late Wednesday afternoon, Barakat’s sister, Suzanne called on authorities to “investigate these senseless and heinous murders as a hate crime,”

In a statement, Hicks’ wife portrayed him as someone who “often championed social causes and had no issues with others’ religions.

It is my absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion or the victims’ faith but in fact was related to the longstanding parking disputes my husband had with the neighbors.

Um okay. Let’s look at Hicks said in his own words as written on his Facebook page.

I give your religion as much respect as your religion gives me.” There’s nothing complicated about it, and I have every right to insult a religion that goes out of its way to insult, to judge, and to condemn me as an inadequate human being – which your religion does with self-righteous gusto.

When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me.If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I. But given that it doesn’t, and given the enormous harm that your religion has done in this world, I’d say that I have not only a right, but a duty, to insult it, as does every rational, thinking person on this planet.

While Hicks didn’t identify which religion he was directing his comments at, it’s pretty clear that he did have issues with others’ religions.

Obviously, when a man shoots three people execution style, he had issues with his victims. The question is the nature of his hate. Are we seriously supposed to believe that Hicks was driven to kill 3 people execution style over a parking place? Was it because they practiced a religion? With all the Islamophobia flowing from both ends of the political spectrum, the possibility that Hicks was motivated out of hatred for the specific religion his victims practiced is very real.

33 Replies to “Three Muslims in NC Are Dead Because of Hate”

  1. I doubt very much that that course of threatening conduct, followed by that kind of extrajudicial execution, was *just* over a parking space. It was because, as he saw it, *subhumans* were contesting his claim to the parking space.

  2. Whether a hate crime or not, you don’t kill anyone just because there is a squabble over a parking space. This guy needs a death penalty conviction – period.

  3. Thanks to the republicans in Washington and elsewhere this country has become just what they’ve been preaching, a murderous hate filled slim pit “be proud scumbags” coming soon in your neighbourhood more hatred.

  4. I call it likely that the inflammatory *video* Fox News insisted on imbedding is implicated in this crime. That’s stochastic terrorism at work.

  5. Hicks had ongoing problems with other neighbors as well over parking space. He also knocked on the door of the victims complaing at times about their friends making too much noise when they left their apartment. He would address them while wearing a gun in his belt. So, to recap, he had problems with religion, had problems with other neighbors over the parking space, but only wore a gun when addressing his anger to the victims he wound up shooting execution style. It appears to me that since the women wore the identifyiable head garb of Muslims, he took his revenge out on them. I don’t care what the officials are saying, to me it’s a hate crime, and I hope the full extent of the law is thrust edown upon this bastard.

  6. How long before some nut job in the right wing blogosphere insists that this horrific act is actually a Sandy Hook-style “false flag” being perpetrated by the Obama administration?

  7. Muderer, similar to the Travon Martin murder. Yes the gun shots did kill these innocent people, premeditated murder. This is perpetretded from our GOP leadership of the masses, pure hatred. And discontent if you’re not Caucasion.

  8. This is just outrageous. It’s despicable the treatment of minorities in this country. Three young lives lost forever with their dreams evaporated.

  9. I don’t know whether this man killed the three young students due to their religeous beliefs or not, but this man was obviously filled with hatred. Three young lives lost over a parking space? Four lives wasted (I’m including his) due to this man’s actions. I’m not sure the death penalty would be proper here. The best punishment I could imagine would be a cell with a window looking out into a parking lot. There would be an open parking space with his name on it just outside the window.

  10. Given all that’s now known, which argument is more believable:

    1. A guy who hates religious people and loves guns killed three young Muslims because the visible evidence of their religious devotion enraged him.

    2. A guy who hates religious people and loves guns killed three young Muslims in a dispute over a parking space.

  11. Considering the history of violence towards non-whites, non-Christians & others in this country by ultra conservatives, I’m positive a parking space wasn’t the reason this hater killed those people! His rants about having the right to insult those of another religion seems proof enough that he had it in for these young people prior to their deaths. My heart goes out to their families. Their names will be added to the long list of those grieving over the loss of loved ones due to senseless hate.

  12. Police killing without convictions has become the modern day lynching.
    More discreet, blaming the victims, more credible, less klan sheets to wash…

  13. This is North Carolina where hatred is encouraged from multiple organized organizations and cable media. Marginal minds are easily influenced to do harm to others.

  14. So, you obviously have checked out this guy’s facebook page, so it should be pretty clear to you that he is a hard core leftist. There is no disputing this, he says it clearly. I get that you may want to whitewash this fact, but it takes some seriously huge double armored steel plate balls to attempt to tie this to conservatives. Simply incredible. Anyway, to answer your question, the reason the media doesn’t seem to care about this is because the murderer was a leftist. If this guy could in any even remotely ridiculous way be tied to the right, there would be wall to wall coverage.

  15. This crime has been talked about in the press overseas, I am in NC (pity me) and so far not a peep out of our useless governor.

  16. Pure, unadulterated bull shit.

    It was about parking, period.

    I love how hate has to be foisted on a situation where the reason was about a continuing battle about parking spaces. How hate comes into it is beyond me.

  17. Get real. I’ve had problems with people CONSTANTLY taking my ASSIGNED PARKING space. I didn’t dream of killing anyone over it, but I sure as hell had the offenders towed.

    You don’t know that it was anything but a matter of a parking situation.

  18. Ooops! My bad. I missed reading talkingpointsmemo.com/fivepoints/crai… so I’m probably wrong about my previous statement. How I missed that I don’t know but I try to read all comments before posting mine.

    The guy was a nut. I’m opposed to the death penalty. Life in prison without the possibility of parole is a much worse penalty.

    My sister worked in Huntsvile, TX. There wasn’t a single lifer who had wished he’d gotten a death penalty. Just think about your having to spend 50, 60 or even 70 years in prison, knowing you’d never see a free day; how would you feel?

  19. You need to get real.

    The tea bag/repubs hate and/or fearful
    of any anyone that isn’t a white christian.
    They call President Obama a muslim and if that isn’t hatred I don’t know what is.

    Hatred is the fuel of fear, and for white conservatives their hatred of President Obama masks the fear attached to the realization that their America is never coming back.

  20. A tea bag uses the word “leftist”.
    NC is a very bigoted, racist state like most of the south is.

    They hate anyone who isn’t a white christian.

    and it’s ALL OVER THE NEWS, or did Faux Snooze not cover it since it was a hate crime.

  21. Completely untrue. There is absolutely nothing to indicate this is anything more than some knucklehead losing it over a parking issue. This was about PARKING.

  22. I am from Vancouver,Canada and I hope that the people of Chapel Hill demonstrates against this Hate Crime against the three Arab Students.From what I have heard the police are trying to say that it wasn’t a hate crime.There is no doubt that it was a hate crime.The ADC of the USA should be leading the way against this attack.
    The Black People of the USA and the Palestinian People got the same enemy and that is the U.S. gov.In Ferguson last year the Palestinian People showed support for Michael Brown who was killed by police.The same kind of support should be shown for these Arab Students.The Black People and the Palestinian People needs to stand together to fight against these kind of crimes.

  23. I might agree with you Beverly if you can explain how anyone can kill three people by gun shot over a parking place, and NOT be filled with hate….Killing anyone over a parking place just does not compute.

  24. You never lived in Chicago after a snowstorm and you dig out your spot, put your chairs up only to find out someone threw your chairs to the side and parked in your spot. Just sayin

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