Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Chapel Hill slayings spark Muslim outcry

12 February 2015, 10:05

Washington - The slayings of three young Muslims near the University of North Carolina tapped a deep well of fear and anger over bias toward American Muslims.

Many Muslims were angered that the killings on Tuesday night were slow to draw public attention. The hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter was used widely on Twitter as word spread on Wednesday morning that the three homicide victims were Muslim.

When police said a preliminary investigation indicated a parking dispute had triggered the shootings, several US Muslim leaders said the brutal nature of the crime warranted a hate crime investigation from both federal and local law enforcement. The family of the victims joined the call for a hate-crime inquiry.

Dalia Mogahed, director of the Institute for social policy and understanding, a think-tank that specialises in Muslim issues, said she was disturbed that the media lagged in picking up on the religious significance of the fatal shootings.

"How would we be dealing with this issue if the faith and ethnicity of the victims and perpetrator were switched, if a brown-skinned person went into the room of three white people and shot them?" Mogahed said. "We're all just floored by the blatant double standard that we're seeing in both law enforcement and media coverage of the issue."

The victims were a newlywed couple, Deah Shaddy Barakat, aged 23, and Yusor Mohammad, aged 21, and Mohammad's sister, 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. Craig Stephen Hicks, aged 46, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the shootings.

Also read: US 'deeply disappointed' by elections delay

The father of the women, Mohammad Abu-Salha, told The News & Observer of Raleigh that Hicks had harassed his daughter and husband a couple of times before, and had a gun in his belt when he spoke with them. Abu-Salha said his daughter Yusor, who lived next door to Hicks, wore a Muslim head scarf and told her family a week ago that she had "a hateful neighbor."

"Honest to God, she said, 'He hates us for what we are and how we look,'" he told the newspaper.

Muslim Advocates, a civil rights organisation based in California, urged US attorney general Eric Holder to open a federal inquiry into the homicides. "We cannot ignore the environment in which this incident took place," said Madihha Ahussain of Muslim Advocates.

The council on American-Islamic relations made a similar plea. Chapel Hill police chief Chris Blue said, "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."

Muslim groups held vigils for the victims in North Carolina, New York, Virginia and elsewhere, while others organized a worldwide Quran reading as a memorial.

The reaction reflects the alarm many American Muslims feel in the face of anti-Muslim prejudice which has persisted since the September 11 terror attacks, often spiking after terror attacks overseas.

- AP

Tags us religion

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...