On the evening of Tuesday Feb. 10, 2015, three students were shot and killed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Many people haven’t really heard much about this tragedy and for some this may be the first time they’re hearing about this. The Chapel Hill Shooting isn’t something that the media has been spending a lot of time talking about. You might be asking yourself why this is: well, the three students who were killed were Muslim.
Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salah, 21 and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salah, 19, were all shot in the head and killed by their neighbor Craig Stephen Hicks. Barakat and Abu-Salah were newlyweds and students of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Razan was the sister of Yusor who was visiting the couple and was a student at North Carolina State University.
The family and friends of the victims feel that this incident is a hate crime. However, the police stated that this developed from an argument over a parking space. Which is still inexcusable. Who shoots three innocent people over a parking spot?
Muslims around the world are outraged by the lack of media coverage that this shooting has gotten. If a Muslim were to kill three white students this would be flooding the news all day long and the person would be identified as a terrorist.
According to a CNN report, there are three components to an act of terrorism. The act has to take place in the United States; it has to put human life in danger and it has to have the intention of intimidating civilians or affect government policy by “mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.”
The Chapel Hill Shooting took place in the United States, it placed the lives of human beings in danger, but because three people were killed it’s not considered a terrorist act? Are three lives not enough to be considered a terrorist act?
The obvious question is: was this an anti-religious act?
According to Hicks’ Facebook page, he often posted many anti-religious rants and made it known he was atheist. Prior to Abu-Salah moving in with Barakat, problems didn’t exist with Hicks. The father of Abu-Salah recalls conversations with his daughter where she would tell him that she felt her neighbor hated her for her religion. The ex-wife of Hicks also spoke out and shared that his favorite movie “Falling Down” was about a retired engineer who goes on a shooting rampage.
The question still lingers: why hasn’t this received a lot of media coverage? Western media has always linked terrorism with Muslims and has instilled that in many Americans. Just like any other religion, there are good and bad people. At the end of the day, three innocent lives were taken. Regardless of race or religion, the story of these victims’ deserves to be heard, because every life matters.