Media Ignores Murdered Muslim Students In Chapel Hill

muslim students

No one deserves to be shot to death because of their religious beliefs. On Tuesday, February 10th, Craig Stephen Hicks allegedly shot three Muslim students in the head, killing each of them. One of the victims was a student at North Carolina State University; another was a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the third student was planning to enroll at UNC dental school this year. And why did he kill them? Initial reports indicate an ongoing dispute over a parking space led to the killing of the three Muslim students. Speculation arose on Twitter, #MuslimLivesMatter, that the killings were religiously motivated, and users also expressed outrage at what they saw as the mainstream media’s failure to report the incident. The #MuslimLivesMatter hashtag has gone viral, and the story is now mainstream.

Hate Crime

According to the Washington Post, wife, Deah Barakat, 23, and husband, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Mohammad’s sister, Razan Homammad Abu-Salha,19, were each shot and killed in the head allegedly by Craig Stephen Hicks,46, who later turned himself in to authorities and appeared in court on Wednesday, February 11th. Apparently the dispute—possibly an ongoing dispute—arose over a parking space at an apartment complex where the three victims and Hicks lived. According to the father of two of the victims, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, hate led to two of the murders as Hicks had “picked on” Abu-Salha’s children a few weeks ago.

#MuslimLivesMatter

The #MuslimLivesMatter hashtag appeared on Twitter on Tuesday night largely in response to the mainstream media not covering the story. According to the Washington Post, the hashtag also reflects the users’ belief that the shootings were religiously motivated. The Council on Islamic Relations issued a statement on the killings later on Wednesday morning, and the statement called for the Chapel Hill Police Department to address the speculation about Hicks’ motives.

It is unclear why the mainstream media did not initially pick up the story, and it smarts given the widespread and almost instantaneous coverage of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris as well as similar coverage of the NYPD officers slain recently.

This does give the impression that Muslim lives are treated differently. The impression may be untrue, but it is there nonetheless. Likewise, it raises the question: would the story have been picked up without the social media buzz generated last night and into today?

The murders took place in the late afternoon (5:15 pm), and the story did not reach the media until early evening so it is possible the media did not catch the story soon enough. Given the age of social media and instant communication, this seems unlikely. Now the national media has latched on and is riding the wave spawned by this “feeding frenzy.”

Media Circus

Media outlets such as Breitbart and Drudge are trying to claim this was an “atheist” murder, and this is shameful. They were senseless murders, and it does not matter whether the killer was an atheist. Likewise, it does not matter if he were a Christian. The religion card played by either side is inappropriate, and it devalues the lives of the victims.

What matters is three people were killed because they were Muslim. In American and anywhere else, this is unacceptable. It is repugnant that these media outlets are attempting to capitalize on this senseless and bigoted violence.

Going Forward

What is the path forward here? Awareness and education. Fortunately one of the victims’ brother, Farris Barakat, started a Facebook group called “Our Three Winners” where he posted images of the three victims and announcements about funeral arrangements. This type of positive step along with the positive forces of social media—the new media—will create the kind of awareness necessary to change the mindset that gave rise to these horrific deaths.

23 Replies to “Media Ignores Murdered Muslim Students In Chapel Hill”

  1. It’s simple really…

    If any Muslim person is killed, no one will care because we’ve vilified Muslims so much since 2001 that any sane Muslim is so rare.

    If these three were white people killed by a Muslim or an African-American, then the media would of been all over it like a horny chihuahua on a female Great Dane.

  2. Seriously? It’s all over my FB newsfeed, from multiple news sources. I don’t think it’s been ignored at all.

  3. Journalists in places like Russia and North Korea are losing their lives while trying to bring truth to people.

    But, in the good old USA, we have media making up bullshit to enhance their profiles, or just not revealing or exposing dangerous, deadly lies told to manufacture wars that never should have been waged.

    Rupert Murdoch’s hacking trial in England was barely mentioned in the States. When it stands to reason people in Murdoch’s media empire in the States were probably doing the same thing.

    Same thing going on with this horrible Muslim hate crime.

    Crickets.

    Now, the unscrupulous media can no longer lie to us at will, or totally manipulate the public with some made up bullshit, or negligently omit the truth ever again.

    Thank God, for the internet!

  4. Hicks (appropriate name, it seems) probably had a bunch of guns for protection – ironically, it turns out, from people exactly like himself. Just another day in the life of a country AWASH in guns.

  5. STOP!!!!! We are having enough problems dealings with what happened here in Triangle. Hicks is a big bully who took the lives of 3 young people who were going to go far. The sky is less bright as these stars are missing.

  6. so…..does this guy Hicks have any prior history of hating, bullying Muslims? Facebook posts, did he say any derogatory statements to anyone?

  7. Tell me that had 3 whites been killed by a Muslim, it would not have been on the news 24/7. Never mind. I know the answer. It would have been an act of “terrorism”.

    Had the killer been black, he would have been a “thug” before anyone would have known his name.

  8. His neighbors say he was a very angry person. I also read today that his neighbors held a meeting about his behavior last year but no action was taken. He had visited these three before, and every time he did, he was armed. One neighbor said he was “an equal opportunity hater,” but his wife says he held no religious bias against the victims, but I find that hard to believe. I think it takes a real nut to kill someone over a parking space.

  9. This is a terrible tragedy..we need to remember these young people as just that ..”Young People” who were murdered by a man whose motivation is still unknown..Their Lives matter..just because they died far too young..

  10. The senseless killing of these young people is such a loss. The very notion that they are being ignored by the majority of the media is horrible. It will be up to social media to make them pay attention.
    It is disturbing to think that if these three students had happened to have been of the Jewish faith, going to dental school at Chapel Hill and also had an angry man as a neighbor senselessly take their lives that the investigation would be taking a different course. This does not speak well of our society. These were Muslim American students, not our enemies. My condolences to their families and all who loved and knew them. RIP

  11. The MSM and the people that control it all is working on that problem right now. We would never know anything if it wasn’t for the Internet. After a story manages to get some attention then they have no choice. Except call the Spinners in.

  12. yes, he blamed their religion, said something about they started it, should have kept mouth shut and so would i… pretty clear cut.

  13. fact is the US is a very racist society, some on the surface some underneath, but now the racists are not even hiding they are all over social media and youtube, American muslims are in real danger now, I would advise them all to be armed now.

  14. While I agree that racists are everywhere, the idea of having all of the Muslims in America be armed is a terrible idea.

    Doing so would continue to perpetuate the stereotype about Muslims always wanting to commit ‘jihad’. Not to mention that it would make those people no better then those who do commit these violent acts.

  15. This was a terrible crime and its tragedy is cheapened by this sensationalist “media ignored it” ruse. The media did not ignore it, and the author proves it by citing several major media sources. Here are more:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/02/11/us/chapel-hill-shooting/index.html
    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/02/11/north-carolina-man-charged-in-shooting-death-three-people/
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/slain-north-carolina-newlywed-talked-growing-america-muslim/story?id=28926706

  16. At least get facts correct. This story is so full of bullshit and holes. This story WAS on the evening news the night it happened. It was on the noon local (Raleigh-Durham) news the same day. The people making this claim are trying to stir things up. The shooter was a jackass and a bully.

  17. According to his neighbors, this guy hated not only Muslims but everyone. He was a nasty neighbor and constantly bullying other residents. Parking spots were only one of his complaints. But whether it was a hate crime or not, he murdered 3 people in cold blood and will never see the light of day again.

    Anyone who thinks this story has been ignored must have just gotten out of bed. It’s on every news organization there is and every TV channel.

  18. I find it ironic that this guys name is Hicks.Take the s off and it describes exactly what he is ,a hick!This guy is a hate filled,gun toting bigot with an agenda.Only people who have experienced this kind of hate can recognize it,and his victims did,and mentioned it to their father.People like him are evil,and they can’t disguise their hatred for you.I’m black, and have experienced it many times over the years.God be with you.

  19. I think that the Muslim community needs to get off its high horse before it criticizes Islamaphobia, considering that there are horrific acts of violence carried out in the name of Allah every day. The glaring evidence that this shooting was motivated by Islamaphobia, and the fact that Islamaphobic ideology can be literally interpreted to justify the murder of innocent Muslims is completely irrelevant. So we should really disregard such ridiculous things, like the undeniable evidence, as if it doesn’t exist, and classify this violent act as a random parking lot shooting, even if doing so defies common sense. Clearly, the victims were not targeted for who they are. They just happened to be Muslims and the shooter just happened to be an Islamaphobe. It’s critical that we understand that the shooter does not represent the entire Islamaphobic population, which is 99.9% nonviolent. Islamaphobia is a peaceful ideology and when we brand this violent extremist as a violent Islamaphobic…

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