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#ChapelHillShooting: Father Says This Was A Hate Crime

Deah Barakat, left, Yusor Mohammad, center, and Razan Mohammad Abu

Deah Barakat, left, Yusor Mohammad, center, and Razan Abu Salha

It seems remarkable that a parking dispute would lead to the apparent premeditated murder of three members of the same family! Usually parking disputes that to lead to violence occur spontaneously and in the heat of the moment.

Reports indicate that Hicks was an avowed anti-theist/atheist. How much of that ideology factored into what to me seems like an evident hate crime? The father of the murdered has stated that the three victims had run-ins with the terrorist neighbor and he had expressed hateful anti-Islam/Muslim views.

RIP to: Deah Barakat, Yosra Mohammad and Razan Abu-Salha.

via. HuffingtonPost

Three members of a Muslim family shot to death Tuesday in their home near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus may have been killed over a parking dispute.

The suspect, 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks, surrendered and was arrested on charges of first-degree murder. He is accused of killing Deah Barakat, 23, Barakat’s wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Yusor’s sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19.

Police responded to reports of gunshots at about 5:15 p.m., Tuesday, when they found the victims’ bodies. The shooting happened in a neighborhood that is mostly rental apartments where students live, and crime there is low, according to the News and Observer.

That night, frantic parents waited outside Finley Forest Condominiums, where police were investigating the triple homicide, the Daily Tarheel reports. One mother broke down in tears after she inquired about her daughter and son-in-law, while a father screamed, “It’s been hours! Just tell me if he’s alive!”

“Why do I cry?” Farris Barakat, Deah’s brother, wrote on Facebook. “So many times I’ve grabbed my phone to text my brother, Yusor, and Razan. Except seconds later I realize that I’ve taken them for granted and imagine their phone laying by their bodies. That’s not okay guys.”

On Wednesday, police said the motive behind the shooting may have been an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking, rather than a hate crime.

“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 thoughts are with the families and friends of these young people who lost their lives so needlessly,” Chief Chris Blue of the Chapel Hill Police Department said at a press conference.

UPDATE 3:15 P.M.: In a press conference, Hicks’ wife of seven years, Karen, said she “never would have expected this.” She said that the shooting had nothing to do with race or religion, and everything to do with parking problems.

She said she didn’t know what drove Hicks to allegedly shoot three people, but her lawyers said that the suspect didn’t single out the victims and had problems with other neighbors in the past. Hicks’ ex-wife, Kristen, told The Huffington Post that she hadn’t “heard from or seen him in 10 years,” and had no further comment.

WATCH KAREN HICKS’ PRESS CONFERENCE

Still, the father of two victims, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, believes hate led to the killings.

“It was execution style, a bullet in every head,” he told the News Observer. “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.”

In a press conference Wednesday, Deah’s eldest sister Suzanne echoed Abu-Salha’s sentiments.

“We’re still in a state of shock and will never be able to make sense of this horrendous tragedy,” she said. “We ask that the authorities investigate these senseless and heinous murders as a hate crime … We ask that you celebrate the memories of our family members.”

WATCH SUZANNE BARAKAT’S PRESS CONFERENCE

The gruesome scene has sparked an outcry on Facebook and Twitter, as word circulated that Hicks described himself as an “anti-theist” and criticized religions online, according to The Independent. That revelation, as well as a lack of media attention to the shooting Tuesday night, reportedly led to a “#MuslimLivesMatter” hashtag.

Read the entire article…

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  • Friend of Bosnia

    Well me, I was actually quite a rightist, but Allah swt opened my eyes.
    However He did not teach me to hate, and neither did those who taught me Islam. I have from my own conclusions learned to hate those who think there are lesser human beings whom it is right to decimate or exterminate. I mean those who talk about a “critical mass of Muslims” or that “wherever Muslims are in the majority they behave horribly to Muslims”.
    Because in BiH in 1992-95 this means that those who have such ideas thought, and still think, that it’s all right to decimate, exterminate, ethnically cleanse people just on grounds that they are Muslims.That everything was fine and dandy when Muslims were just about 7% in the country, and all of a sudden they found themselves in a country with a plurality of Muslims (or in the case of Kosovo with a majority of Muslims) and they thought it legitimate to resort to genocide.
    May that what they wish for us hit them instead.
    I would like to add: I do not hate the Serbs. But I don’t care much for those who still think tehy have a divine or historic or other mandate to exterminate Muslims. Unfortunately this seems still to be a large majority of Serbs, and in that sense it is right to define them as genocidal people, and as a mortal danger to Bosniaks. And the Sewrbs outnumber the Bosniaks , I’m not sure by what proportion but it is huge. Therefore I can only recommend to my Bosniak brethren to follow the example of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto. I would like them to solemnly pledge not to let themselves be killed before they have killed at least ten enemies each. Make victory as costly and bitter for their enemies as possible.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    100% true.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Of course it does. Many of the criminal thugs who went on a murdering spree in BiH in 1992-95 as well as many SS men in WWII were good, honest people, law-abiding citizens, God-fearing churchgoers, loving family fathers, in short, princes of fellows who just happened to work in an industry that produces corpses from living human beings. Because they had been taught since childhood to hate the Muslims / the Jews. What Hannah Arendt called “the banality of evil”

  • Solid Snake

    No one is serious when we say atheists must condemn it etc etc, this is just to emphasize our point of how irrational it is to expect all Muslims to apologize for someone they have never met, will never meet committing a crime hundreds of miles in another country.

    While I do agree that it is wrong to jump to conclusions, you have to understand the context in which these crimes are being viewed.As someone opposed to Islamophobia you understand why many people jump to that conclusion. If for example 3 young homosexuals were shot in the head execution style by an extremist Christian there is no doubt people would jump to the conclusion that it was due to their sexuality.

    Another factor is the way situations where Muslims are the criminals and where Muslims are Victims are covered. Check out Garibaldis new article “http://www.loonwatch.com/2015/02/chapel-hill-murders-between-a-simplistic-media-and-human-complexity/”

    In fact heres the Graphic, just look at it for a few moments, look how absurd it is:

    http://i2.wp.com/www.loonwatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/media-bias.jpg

  • Trimmercastle42

    I like to call them the new taliban

  • Cengiz_K

    Wow, and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung online thread is not publishing my comments on the new incident, which took place in Copenhagen yesterday.. But a lot of loons are reiterating far-right plans about defense of “western ideals” and what should generally be done about.people who are attacking free speech and what terrorists, i.e. muslims, should do about it, and about immigration laws and what not…

  • Capt. JB Hennessy

    Muslim shooter if caught goes to Gitmo, Black shooter if caught gets the chair and White shooter if caught get state sponsored therapy a book deal and film rights.

  • HSkol

  • HSkol

    Exactly, and yes – another place, another time. 🙂

  • There wouldn’t be a big can of worms if there is equality and fairness but let’s save that discussion for another place and time. 🙂

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    You’re rambling again.

  • HSkol

    Yeah, we could likely open up a big ol’ can of worms with that conversation. I’m certain we’d have common points of agreement – but, likely areas in which we’d fiercely disagree as well. The talk is more important than pure agreement. And, again, where you and I might disagree, I don’t think either of us would ever act as judge, jury and executioner against the other.

  • Race and religion equality is another big thing for me and it makes me extremely frustrated to have protected classes of people.

  • HSkol

    Thanks. I try my best to call it like I see it. Neither you nor I should be indicted for our views of these people. You and I share the virtue of Honesty – and, to me that means a great deal, whether or not we agree on all worldly issues.

  • Hskol I am glad that you have the honesty to mention that even though you are an atheist and some might have qualms that calling them not a true follower might shift the blame to atheism. Honesty is a great virtue.

  • HSkol

    Perhaps a highly politicized belief-system with blinders applied. No one is beyond good and evil; however, it seems that extremists wish to apply such concepts to themselves and to themselves only.

  • Capt. JB Hennessy

    Hey HSkol. Thank you Sir. Yeah I remember EL Cid, tell him I said Greetings Salutations, Salaam, Nameste and Shalom.

    He can look me up via Facebook if he likes:

    https://www.facebook.com/oscar.molotov

  • HSkol

    They are certainly not true followers.

  • HSkol

    I agree. However, many of us are looking for fairness in media coverage. The media should note that when an individual Muslim, let’s say, is crazy, and anything as minor as a parking dispute could have set him off, it’s the individual and not the belief system that is the root of problem.

  • HSkol

    Dang it! Now I’m gonna have to erase this identity! Dang it! 🙂

  • HeGG

    I hope they find that it was because the man was crazy, and anything as minor as a parking dispute could have set him off.

    Because the alternative is horrible. It would mean that they were killed for what they were, and what they were was exemplary persons. Studious, religious, kind (they participated in charities) and fun-loving.

    If people like that can be killed for what they believe, what are we even doing?

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