By Pamela Geller – BarbWire guest contributor
It speaks to the overwhelming submission by the media as a whole that the shootings in North Carolina have become all about islamophobia and the fictitious victimhood of Muslims in America, despite the fact that their religion had nothing to do with the shooting.
The killings were horrible. The fact that the victims were Muslim is incidental. Why are the press accounts only about the fact that they were Muslim? People are murdered every day—why is this different? Are Muslims a special, protected class?
The shooter was an SPLC follower and Ground Zero mosque supporter, but this does not stop the Islamic supremacists and their media errand boys from assigning a motive that does not exist. But mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post continue to advance the lie.
Craig Hicks was one of them. A progressive secular atheist, he preferred Muslims to Christians, was a supporter of uber-left causes, i.e. the Southern Poverty Law Center. There is no there there — on the contrary:
Craig Hicks’ own words:
Beyond that though after being in D.C. for a decade and knowing several dozen Muslims for most of that time I can say that they aren’t what most think of them. In fact, I’d prefer them to most Christians as I was never coerced in any way by the Muslims to follow their religion, which I cannot say about many Christians.
While the terrorists who did the 9/11 attacks were Muslims, they were extremists in that faith, which isn’t common. …
So while we are prohibited from tying to Islam the slaughter of hundreds of thousands by jihadists ululating Islamic prayer and reciting Quran, we are punished for a non-existent motive of a psychopathic neighbor with a longstanding dispute and a hair-trigger temper.
The “preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,” an assertion that was echoed by the suspected shooter’s wife.
I can say with my absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion or victims’ faith, but in fact was related to the long-standing parking disputes that my husband had with the neighbors,” [wife of shooter] Karen Hicks said. She later added: “We were married for seven years, and that is one thing that I do know about him.
She said her husband of seven years treated people with respect. “He often champions on his Facebook page for the rights of individuals. … He believes everyone is equal – doesn’t matter what you look like or who you are or what you believe.”
But Muslim supremacists and their organ grinder’s monkeys in the media never let the facts get in the way of advancing their lies and myths.
A friend of the victims who used to live in the apartment with them said Hicks would complain about once a month that they were taking up too many parking spaces — and would often confront them with a gun on his hip.
“He would come over to the door. Knock on the door and then have a gun on his hip saying ‘you guys need to not park here,'” said IMad Ahmad, a graduate student in chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. “He did it again after they got married.”
Both Hicks and his neighbors complained to the property managers, who apparently didn’t intervene. “They told us to call the police if the guy came and harassed us again,” Ahmad said.
“This man was frustrated day in and day out about not being able to park where he wanted to,” said Karen Hicks’ attorney, Robert Maitland.
The AP also reported:
A woman who lives near the scene described Hicks as short-tempered. “Anytime that I saw him or saw interaction with him or friends or anyone in the parking lot or myself, he was angry,” Samantha Maness said of Hicks. “He was very angry, anytime I saw him.”
One of the victims, Deah Barakat, was a vocal antisemite. How long before they blame the Jews?
Rabia Chaudry, in the New York Observer (how it has declined since I was its associate publisher), blamed Robert Spencer and me: “The blame can be traced to an industry committed to harassing and maligning Muslims across the country. This industry funds professional anti-Muslim bigots such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, who organize mosque protests and anti-Sharia legislation campaigns. North Carolina, where the students were murdered, happens to be one of the states that have passed such ridiculously bigoted and unnecessary legislation.”
Robert Spencer says: “In North Carolina, a psychopath murdered three Muslims over a parking space, and we are admonished that #Muslimlivesmatter, and there are new calls for restricting speech that examines how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism. About this incident [of 12 Christians slaughtered by Muslims in Libya because they were Christians], in contrast, there will be no such outrage, and no calls to restrict anti-Christian hate speech.”
A top Arab-American civil rights organization linked anti-Islam sentiment in the US to the popularity of American Sniper, while a friend of the Chapel Hill shooting victims blamed media for “constantly dehumanizing Muslims.”
Abed Ayoub, the legal director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, told The Independent in the United Kingdom that Islamophobia in the United States is encouraged by US foreign policy, the movie industry, and right-wing media.
“[The North Carolina murders] may not be directly linked to the film, but the overall way that Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment are moving in this country is portrayed in the words of those who watched American Sniper,” Ayoub said.
“The film gave us a look into how these individuals were feeling and for the first time we were getting raw, real messages – and they were frightening.”
American Sniper is the largest-grossing January opening for a movie in history and is nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture.
Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, on whose memoirs the movie is based, wrote “I hate the damn savages. I couldn’t give a flying f**k about the Iraqis.” He was killed by a former Marine at a shooting range in Texas in 2013.
Ayoub also points to coverage of the Chapel Hill slayings, which he sees as muted or altered based on the victims’ religion.
“This country needs to realise that acts of terrorism are not confined to a single religion or ethnicity,” he added. “This [Islamophobia] is something that needs to stop and we would like the media to pay more attention and cover this more to show the impact of hate crime and hate speech.”
How the government approaches Muslims, and how Muslims are covered in the mainstream media must change, Ayoub said.
“There are key individuals who could tone down the Islamophobic rhetoric,” he said. “You have people on the extreme right that just push that Islam is an evil religion and Muslims and Arabs are these evil people.
The murder of three Muslim university students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Tuesday was unlikely a religiously-motivated hate crime, local police have said, though they have vowed to investigate all possible angles involved.
Murder suspect Craig Stephen Hicks was the neighbor of Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. Their conflict is said to have stemmed from issues over parking outside their apartment complex.
The victims’ family, however, disagreed with police, calling it a clear “hate crime” and an “execution.”
Shafi Khan, a friend of the students, told CNN Wednesday that some American media and right-wing politicians, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, intentionally fan flames of anti-Muslim hatred.
“There is (sic) certain sections of the media and political apparatus that are constantly dehumanizing Muslims,” he said. “I want to take a minute to ask people like Fox News and Bobby Jindal to stop this dehumanization of Muslims. It’s really, really starting to take a toll.”
Jindal has repeatedly voiced discriminatory or outright bogus claims about Muslims, most recently when he said Muslims are trying to “conquer us,” and that the US is at risk for Islamic Sharia law, “colonization” and “an invasion.”
Khan also called out Oklahoma state senator John Bennett, who called Islam “a cancer that needs to be cut out of society.”
“And the Republican Party establishment, instead of condemning him, came out and made a point of saying they stand by him,” Khan said.
Pamela Geller is the founder, editor and publisher of PamelaGeller.com and President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamization of America (SIOA). She is the author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America, (foreword by Ambassador John Bolton), (Simon & Schuster). Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. She is also a regular columnist for World Net Daily, the American Thinker, and other publications. Follow her on Facebook & Twitter.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.