In what the Independent reported as an “execution style” murder, three young professionals were killed in what appears to be another Islamophobic killing yesterday. An atheist man who had recently been preaching hate online was charged with the murder.
The Victim’s Profile
The victims Deah Barakat, his wife Yusor and her sister Razan were described as exemplary citizens. Deah was a doctoral student in UNC-Chapel Hill’s school of Dentistry. The two sisters were students at N.C. State University.
A heart wrenching video has surfaced in which Deah’s father is asking police what has happened to his son.
Outside of their university lives they had been known for their charity work. Yusor had recently travelled to Turkey to help with humanitarian work for the Syrian refugees there. In the photo she had uploaded to her Facebook account we are given a glimpse into her selfless contributions.
Deah was scheduled to travel to Turkey in the summer in order to carry out humanitarian aid but in place of saving lives of Syrian refugee’s, Deah’s own life was cut short by hatred. His friends and family described him as a source of joy and expressed how proud they had felt for his involvement in humanitarian work around the world. Even the day before he was killed he had been campaigning for his trip to save Syrian children. Below you can see Deah taking part in an appeal video.
Yusor and Deah had only been married for just over two months. At the time they were with Yusor’s sister Razan, who was only 19 years old had just begun studying architecture and environmental design at the NCSU. The family were all-in-all from a respectable community and well educated. This along with their selfless charity work has left their local community in shock.
The Atheist Terrorist Who Killed Them
Craig Hicks described himself as an anti-theist and had had trouble with ABC11 station in the past. He posted pictures of his gun and regularly posted hatred on his Facebook account. He is to appear in court today charged with multiple homicide after he turned himself in. He is married and his wife is understood to work at UNC hospital.
In a chilling Facebook post he blamed Muslims for his actions:
“Your religion started this, not me. If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I”
– online post by the killer
Online people showed their outpouring grief. Initially it wasn’t reported widely in the media but it seems after growing anger from people on social media the mainstream media have now covered the story, however stopped short of calling the atheist terrorist a terrorist. The family of the victims are still in shock at the great loss.
Hicks was linked to an atheist organisation called United Atheists of America. In a tweet earlier today, Richard Dawkins who Hicks regularly quoted, condemned the killing.
The Chapel Hill Police Department said in a statement that they believe there is reason to believe that there is no ongoing threat to the public.
How Many Victims of Terrorism Are Muslim?
Its often misrepresented that most terrorists are Muslim. However it seems to be the complete opposite if we look at the facts. Most VICTIMS of terrorism are Muslim.
A report by the National Counterterrorism Centre in the USA found that
“In cases where the religious affiliation of terrorism casualties could be determined, Muslims suffered between 82 and 97% of terrorism-related fatalities over the past five years”