Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad probably woke up that morning and could never have imagined that they were never going to wake up again. Three very charming, very talented, very giving young people with extremely bright futures. They were future doctors, they put in a lot of effort in helping the less fortunate, and they had big, giving hearts. But the man did not think of any of this before pulling the trigger on them
This newly wed couple and their sister were shot dead in their very own university campus.
They were like us, they were students who had not even started their life in a proper way yet. They must have had a whole plan for their lives ahead just like we all do. Imagine walking out with your whole life ahead of you and then having your life ended in this way. Does it not sound scary?
The man who is responsible behind this heart-breaking tragedy, Craig Stephen Hicks, is a 46-year-old atheist resident of Chapel Hill.
It has not yet been confirmed that this was a hate-crime against the Muslim community. The Police say that they are looking into it, but they believe that it was due to a parking dispute that the man was having with the three victims. But who are we trying to fool here. There is a great possibility that the victims were killed due to the religion they follow, and even if they were, that fact will be enclosed in an envelope and hid behind many other reasons to cover-up the truth, just like always.
When a similar incident took place around a month ago in France, there was a massive angry uproar by the media. A slogan was declared “Je Suis Charlie”. The media all over the world was exhibiting its support to the victims of the shooting and the entire world had once again, labelled the Muslims as terrorists, and Islam the reason to all the violence that exists in the world. All this was happening because the shooters were Muslim. There were harsh hate statements being posted all over social media blaming the entire Muslim community for what had happen.
But what about today? Where is the Media today? Why is it that none of the news channels are flashing slogans like “Je Suis Deah” “Je Suis Yusor” “Je Suis Razan? Why hasn’t the western media declared this as a terrorist attack against Muslims? Why is it that when the Charlie Hebdo shooting occurred the news channels pasted their headlines as “Obama expresses his deepest sympathies to the people of France for the TERRORIST attack” but when these three young people were shot, all they had to say was that “a MAN has been charged for the murder of three students”? Why is it that when Christians, Jews and other non-Muslims are killed by Muslims, Islam is identified as playing a direct role but when Muslims are killed by Jews, Christians and other non-Muslims, however, the religious identity of the violent perpetrators is downplayed or ignored?
They claim that Islam is a religion that teaches and encourages violence and that every Muslim aims to destroy the peace in this world. How little do they know about this religion which asks to spread nothing but love and peace. They are not aware of the fact that people who inflict such kind of tragedies on other humans are not true Muslims. A true Muslim would know that our Lord, our book encourages nothing but peace. A very touching example of this is a statement that was posted by one of the family members of the victims today on Facebook:
My family was murdered execution style in their home. It was a hate-filled crime.
Don’t fight fire with fire.
When someone who is suffering the loss of not one, but 3 people he/she loved dearly and could still discourage hate towards the one who inflicted this pain on them, how can they still label Islam and Muslims as violent peace-destroyers?
As a Muslim, I am angry. I am angry because these three very talented young people did not deserve to die this way. And this certainly deserves to be put out to the entire world just like all the other incidents do. I am angry because this is unfair. Unfair to them, unfair to us.
But as we know, Western media outlets will likely frame the most recent perpetrator of what some speculate is an anti-Muslim crime in the same way they frame most anti-Muslim criminals – as crazed, misguided bigots who acted alone. If past coverage is any indication, there will likely be very little suggestion that the killer acted on the basis of an ideology or as part of any larger pattern or system.
The Western Media has always been very keen on spreading Islamophobia amongst the people of the world. They portray the Muslim community as violent, backwards, fundamentalist and as threats to western civilization. Western news coverage rarely highlights Islam except to show its possible relation to some atrocity, and Muslims are rarely mentioned in the context of news that is positive or benign.
Every kind of western media, the news, the internet, even the movies, have played a major role in the increasing amount of Islamophobia amongst the people. The Media has set up such an image that everyone should always be suspicious of Muslims, All Muslims. According to a recent study about Hollywood movies, it was found that most of them portrayed the Arabs and the Muslims as “brutal, heartless, uncivilized religious fanatics and money-mad cultural ‘others’ bent on terrorizing civilized westerners, especially Christians and Jews”.
Let me give you an example of that. These were some of the tweets by people after watching the very recent movie “American Snipper”
This is the kind of picture that the western media paints of us to the world. We get blamed, slashed, labelled for all kinds of incidents, just in the name of our religion. But when we become the victims to such horrendous acts of crime, the story is killed behind a pile of ‘lone-wolf’ and ‘mental-illness’ issues.
I ask each of you to spread as much word as possible about this very sad tragedy so that the world could know. And also to make dua for the victims and their families. May Allah grant them the highest ranks in Jannah and May Allah give sabr to the families.
Also, Deah Shaddy Barakat was one of the organizers of an effort to raise money to provide free dental care to students of the Salaam School in Turkey. I would encourage everyone to go ahead and donate for the cause, even if it is a little so that he could get more and more ajar (reward) even after his death. You can follow this link for donations