By Jacob Collins |Asst. Online Editor|
A triple homicide over a parking space is hardly newsworthy
enough for national mass media coverage and at best is a local news story. However throw in buzzwords like “Islamophobia,” “terrorism” and “hate crime” and now you have a juicy story that will be broadcast around the world.
I don’t mean to diminish the value of the lives of the murder victims. Any murder is a heinous act that is both a tragedy for the victims and the families of the victims involved.
Craig Hicks is accused of killing three Muslim students at the apartment complex
where both Hicks and the victims of the murder lived. The motives of the murder range from parking dispute to hate crime and even terrorism, which is absurd.
If an isolated triple homicide is now terrorism then the nation has a serious terrorism problem in gang-ridden areas where the murder rates are much higher. When two gangs have a shootout in a public area, how is that not terrorism when compared to an isolated incident in an apartment complex?
Regardless of the terrorism debate the media jumped the gun after being pressured by social media to call the shooting a hate crime. According to the Chapel Hill police the incident may have been caused by a parking dispute but
have yet to investigate the possibility of it being a hate crime.
Part of the reason many think the murders may be a hate crime is the pettiness of a parking dispute.
“This is the most common form of interpersonal violence! It never makes sense on paper! You’re talking about people who fail to regulate their emotional states. And they have, in the U.S., ready access to weaponry that makes it incredibly easy to kill someone impulsively,” said Sam Harris, author of Letter to a Christian Nation, on his podcast regarding the Chapel Hill shooting.
Hicks has publicly mocked and denounced religion on his Facebook page and it is known that the murder victims were Muslim. However there is no evidence at the moment to call this a hate crime and a combination of confirmation bias and the cry of “Islamophobia” has been used to distort coverage of the incident.
In my opinion, the issue of religion is irrelevant; evil people will do evil things. Whether you kill someone over a matter as petty as a parking space or their beliefs, it is evil.
Many are now using this tragedy to advance the idea of “Islamophobia” towards critics of the Islamic religion.
People who call out Islam on its pattern of violence are suddenly “Islamophobes” as if Islam should be held above reproach. Although Islam is not the only religion with a violent history
, it does not mean that Islam should be immune from criticism.
It is disturbing when any religious group uses their god to commit acts of terrorism such as the Charlie Hebdo attack, ISIS beheadings, Christians bombing abortion clinics, the Crusades and the Holocaust which was motivated by Hitler’s Catholicism.
The term islamophobia should be reserved for those who commit acts of terror against Muslims merely because they’re Muslims, not for journalists, professors, actors, or others publicly addressing the systemic violence and atrocities committed in the name of Islam.