The recent horrific shootings in North Carolina were truly horrific, but it is a huge relief knowing that Muslims are finally humanized in the mass media, at least partly. The Barakat and Abu-Salha victims were your average young Americans, probably even better. While the 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat was planning to travel to Turkey to help Syrian refugees with needed dental care, the two sisters were active citizens working with humanitarian organizations. Even though news organizations have finally stepped up to report on this tragic event, there still seems to be some biased reporting. We don’t have to look at Fox News this time, but BBC’s “Murders ‘over parking, not religion’ ” article.
Seriously? Is this some way of relieving American Muslims that they will not be killed for their faith, but for their bad parking? After the spark of the Paris shootings, some Muslims were targeted right away. But in this case, people are quick to assure that the perpetrator’s actions were not religiously driven. Some have even begun to question the killer’s sanity. This has become a new norm: When Muslims kill, all Muslims are expected to take ownership and apologize, but when non-Muslims commit heinous crimes against innocent Muslims, their sanity is questioned and professionals go out of their way to distract us from what is really going on here, Islamophobia.
As a human being, I denounce the Paris and North Carolina shootings. All perpetrators were making political and religious statements, all were punished, but I don’t expect all to be viewed the same in the public eye. I hope that people treat the accused killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, the same way the Kouachi brothers were treated. We need to stop discriminating Muslim killers from non-Muslim ones.
The victims of the shootings were victims of hatred, not parking.
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