The murder of three UNC students–Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha and her sister Razan– by a coward named Craig Stephen Hicks has brought with it great sadness and shame upon us all. Barakat and Abu Salha were known for their charity work and goodwill–feeding the poor and homeless in their local community. They were the kind of successful, generous and big hearted citizens America needs desperately right now. Their only crime was their Muslims faith an Arab origins.
However, I cannot hep but wonder how inevitable their murder was given the growing animosity towards Islam and Arabs by the western Media and film industry. In the wake of the tragic Charlie Hebdo shootings, when Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro publicly calls for us to “bomb them, bomb them, bomb them, [ad nauseum],” when Rupert Murdoch (Fox News owner) tweets that all Muslims need to be held “accountable” for their “jihadist cancer,” and American Sniper–a movie about a white US marine killing Arabs in Iraq–is this year’s blockbuster, what should we expect?
This is fodder for right wing American terrorism. This is fodder for ISIS. This is fodder for all forms of hatred. I recall the words of the great James Baldwin,
I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
We need to stand together, condemn this despicable murder and heal as one nation. Our heart goes out to the Barakat and Abu Salha families. Inna lillah wa inna ilayh la-raju’un.