The Chapel Hill shooting that left three young Muslim students dead has sparked heated controversy and social media users are enraged at what they see as a double standard in the media.
After deadly attacks in Paris last month and increasing ISIS brutality against western hostages, both carried out by terrorists, Muslims feel that not enough media attention has been focused on the Chapel Hill shooting because of the victims’ religion. Moreover, some argue that had the shooter been a Muslim and the victims white, the news media would be all over the story.
The father of two of the three Muslim victims, claims that this was a hate crime because the suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, had written questionable comments on his Facebook page. Hicks — who turned himself in to police — has been charged with murder the of the three victims.
On Tuesday night, Hicks allegedly shot to death Deah Barakat, 23 – a second-year student at the University of North Carolina’s School of Dentistry – his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, who was planning to enroll at UNC in the fall, and her 19-year-old sister, Razan, a student at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, CNN reports.
Authorities are investigating the motive for the killings in the usually quiet campus. Initially, it was reported that there was a long-standing parking dispute between the perpetrator and the victims, however, the women’s family insists this is a hate crime. Police say they are looking at all angles to the case.
The Chapel Hill shooting has clearly touched a nerve on social media, where people are voicing their concern about what they see as bias by the media. The hashtag Muslim Lives Matter has started to trend on Twitter, as heartfelt messages in remembrance of the young lives lost are being posted.
February 11, 2015
The suspect in the Chapel Hill shooting is being held at the Durham County Jail without bond. According to police chief, Chris Blue, the department realizes the implications this tragedy.
“Our investigators are exploring what could have motivated Mr. Hicks to commit such a senseless and tragic act. We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated, and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case.”
“Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,. Hicks is cooperating with investigators and more information may be released at a later time.”
However, the father of the murdered women — Mohammad Abu-Salha, a psychiatrist — argues that his daughter talked to News and Observer about Hicks before she was killed, saying he had a problem with the way she dressed,.
“It was execution style, a bullet in every head. 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.”
The Chapel Hill shooting suspect’s wife, Karen Hicks made a statement on Wednesday, assuring the families that the murder has nothing to do with religion.
“I can say with my absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion or victims faith, but in fact was related to the long-standing parking disputes that my husband had with the neighbors. We were married for seven years, and that is one thing that I do know about him.”
Ripley Rand, the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, said Wednesday that this appears to be an isolated crime and not a targeted campaign against Muslims. People who live in the apartment building where the Chapel Hill shooting took place say there is enough parking for everyone and they can’t imagine a dispute happening.
See what people are saying about the Chapel Hill shooting on Twitter.
[Image via Twitter]