R.I.P. to Deah Shaddy Barakat
R.I.P. to Yusor Abu-Salha,
R.I.P to Razan Abu-Salha
Now we wait patiently for a news article to emerge from the right entitled, “What You Didn’t Know About the 3 Muslims Who Were Killed” in which the writer will attempt to stigmatize and degrade the importance that lies in the simple fact that three innocent people were killed. I am going to say that this man, Hicks, will probably file as “insane”, but I will also like to note that this kind of thing is simply a lawyer’s ploy to try to allow a person to receive less time for any crime that their client committed. They usually try to find evidence to support their insanity claim (which is easier) rather than trying to find evidence to support a far-out and improbable innocence claim (especially since he turned himself in). So, white or not, the presumed assumption that an insanity claim will happen is likely for that reason. It is the media’s will to accept the notion that is race tinged, race biased. The left will deny it; the right more willing to accept it.
What is more important to me, if we want to speak about the man’s race and the religions of the people murdered, is the fact that this isn’t considered a terrorist attack. I’m sure many people of the Islamic community are in fear and I’m sure Hick’s political agenda was silencing the free expression of their (Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha) religious beliefs. If you don’t believe the community is full of fear, check out the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter. It is streaming with fear, bulging with concern. Now Christian friends, before you go off and defend this radical in whatever way you find necessary, he is not a Christian. He is an atheist according to his social media. However, there is a racially tinge selective use of the word “terrorist” (which I believe is a word that is overused, an overemphasized word in our spectator culture). When the act of terror does not refer to the actions done to white people or the act of terror is done by white people, and the results are stimulated fear within a sub-community of mainstream (white) society, the phrase “terrorist act” is rarely used. This is because power and privilege.
There is power in the ability to discern when something is a terrorist act and when something is not. It is a power in the hands of the white community and the mainstream white-controlled media. There is a power in being able to write your own speculated “truth” on the series of events occurring today and have it accepted by the world. It is a privilege to be able to have your fears confirmed by wider society instead of taken for granted. It is a privilege to have the support of the world. It is a privilege to have the world view events and severity through your own lens and perspective. As Dr. Yasir Qadhi (@YasirQadhir) tweeted, “I wonder when all the world leaders will come and hold hands and march on the streets of Chapel Hill to condemn Islamophobia.” Islamophobia and the actions that result from it is not taking seriously by wider society because it is not an issue for the persons whose perspective the world is viewed. Therefore, the fear that the people of the Islamic faith have, due to crises like this, is dismissed and belittled as a minor moment spurred from an individual radical. And perhaps he is an individual radical, but does that make him less of a terrorist under the broad definition of, “the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims”? I am forced to say, “No,” and confirm his act as terrorism under this broad definition of a term handed out so selectively.
Now atheist friends, I am sorry, but in a world that generalizes and stigmatizes, this man will probably become the face behind some radical religious (both Islamic and Christian) justification of the “irrationality and bizareness of Atheism” as if it is some secular religion, high on science and testosterone, bent on overthrowing religious traditions all over the universe. As if you can run up to a group of atheist and easily discern the why behind their disbelief in a deity; as if you can run up to group of atheist and easily discern the ethics that guide their ideology; as if all atheist are “disciples” of Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins; as if that is always a bad thing; as if one person’s actions is another person’s actions, simply because one aspect of one’s beliefs coincides with an aspect of the other’s. Do not let this action generate hatred toward atheist. Hicks is the terrorist, not atheism. The structure of power given to a white community unaffected by these murders is the reason the story was not attended to and the reason the word “terrorist” was not used.