Barack Obama didn’t exactly say that the three Muslim students killed in North Carolina might have been his children, but he has made it clear that he thinks the crime was motivated by “who they are, what they look like, or how they worship” and a federal investigation has begun [Obama denounces 'outrageous murders' of three U.S. Muslims, by Collen Jenkins, Reuters, February 13, 2015]. So another of this Administration’s favorite “hate” narratives is underway—liberated, as they increasingly seem to be, from any considerations of the facts.
While Timothy McVeigh acknowledged the novel The Turner Diaries influenced the Oklahoma City Bombing, his psychiatrist told Gore Vidal “Tim wanted it made clear that, unlike The Turner Diaries, he was not a racist. He made that very clear. He did not hate homosexuals. He made that very clear.” [The Meaning of Timothy McVeigh, Vanity Fair, September 2001]
Theresa Smith met face to face with Jeffrey Dahmer, the man who killed, and quite possibly ate (the remains were never found) her brother. She told CBS: "one of the things he wanted to make very clear is that he was not a prejudiced person. It wasn't out of race that he killed these young men. It was out of his selfish lust. He made that very clear." Dahmer, who was gay, targeted mostly young minority men for murder and cannibalism, but it was because he liked young minority men.
As a committed atheist, Craig Hicks, who is accused of killing three of his Muslim neighbors, probably did not care for the Biblical commandment, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Nonetheless his wife Karen is vigorously defending him. She does not claim he is innocent of murder as does Charles Manson’s would-be wife Afton Elaine Burton (Manson marriage license to expire without a wedding, USA Today, February 3, 2015). Nor does she justify her husband’s crimes as does Hayat Boumeddiene, the wife of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist Amédy Coulibaly (Islamic State magazine interviews Hayat Boumeddiene, by Kim Wilsher, The Guardian, February 12, 2015)
Though Karen Hicks did not use the words “he made that very clear,” like Dahmer and McVeigh, she proclaims that her husband is innocent of the more serious crime of racism and Islamophobia: “It didn’t matter what your religion was, it didn’t matter what your race was, didn’t matter sexuality. He believed that everybody should be treated equally and fair.” She did not deny that he killed the neighbors, but she insists: “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 triple-shooting suspect said crime not motivated by bias, WRAL.com, February 11, 2015).
The Chapel Hill police have confirmed that the parking dispute likely caused the shooting [UPDATE - Chapel Hill Police Investigate Multiple Homicide on Summerwalk Circle, February 10, 2015.] Hicks’ neighbors reported that he was a crank who displayed “equal opportunity anger” (Neighbors Say Suspect in Chapel Hill Shootings Was Threatening, by Jonathan M. Katz and Michael Paulson, New York Times, February 12, 2015)
This fact should be relevant to our Main Stream Media. A murder over parking spaces—while tragic—does not warrant international headlines and hand-wringing about Islamophobia for a week. However, in a sane society, killing someone over a parking space is just as reprehensible as killing someone over religion.
Perhaps emphasizing how insane our society is, Hicks’ wife told the media to look at his Facebook page for proof of his tolerance. Among his many “Likes” are a page supporting the Ground Zero Mosque, The Rachel Maddow Fan Page; Pissing Off The Religious Right; Keep your Bible out of our Vaginas; Organization for Educating Misinformed Tea Party Patriots, and most notably The Southern Poverty Law Center.
The SPLC ($PLC to VDARE.com) has posted piece not mentioning his links to them, but filled with the usual insinuations about hate.Then there's this:
There are other reasons for Muslims in America to feel under siege. Recent weeks and months have been thick with news of jihadist horrors — the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, the murder of American Kayla Mueller by the Islamic State and the beheadings and burning alive of a Jordanian pilot by the same group, the Taliban’s mass murder of 145 people at a school in Pakistan, and more.
FBI Probing Murder of 3 Muslim Students Amid Hate Crime Questions and Widespread Fear, By Bill Morlin, SPLC HATEWATCH< February 13, 2015 .
Why should those stories make Muslims feel under siege, rather than the rest of us?
In any case, it's safe to say that if Hicks had Liked VDARE.com on Facebook, this would be front and center of the headlines.
But none of this has not stopped Peter Beinart from asking “Did Craig Hicks murder Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha yesterday in Chapel Hill because they were Muslim? We don’t yet know for sure” before pontificating about “The GOP's Islamophobia Problem.”[The Atlantic, February 13, 2015
However, most of the MSM is slightly more honest. Hicks’ vocal leftism prevented their preferred narrative of a racist Religious Right tea partier killing an innocent Muslim after watching American Sniper. Instead they are focusing on Hick’s militant atheism, what he called “anti-theism.”
The Left is not anti-Christian. They are against Christians who oppose gay marriage and wish you a Merry Christmas, but they welcome Christians who invoke scripture to march with illegal aliens, raise taxes, and contract ebola. Similarly, atheists are good insofar as they attack Christians who oppose abortion, but are bad when they criticize Islam.
The Washington Post used the shooting to analyze the “deep tensions” between Muslims and atheists [Chapel Hill killings shine light on particular tensions between Islam and atheism, by Michelle Boorstin, February 11, 2015]. WaPo’s Boorstin noted that many of the most prominent “new atheists” like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Bill Maher have specifically attacked Islam as more violent and backwards than other religions. Harris for example wrote of Jihadists,
If they are ‘extremists’ who have deformed an ancient faith into a death cult, they haven’t deformed it by much. When one reads the Koran and the hadith, and consults the opinions of Muslim jurists over the centuries, one discovers that killing apostates, treating women like livestock, and waging jihad—not merely as an inner, spiritual struggle but as holy war against infidels—are practices that are central to the faith.
Similarly, Dawkins tweeted after the Hebdo shootings, “all religions are NOT equally violent. Some have never been violent, some gave it up centuries ago. One religion conspicuously didn’t.”
What WaPo ignores is that the alleged killer, Hicks, never made any similar comments. In fact, he went out of his way to equate radical Islam with the Religious Right. For example he posted the United Atheists of America's meme that said "radical Christians" and "radical Muslims" were the same because they both supported the death penalty and prayer in school, while opposed gay marriage, prostitution, and drug legalization. [Chapel Hill shooting: Craig Stephen Hicks condemned all religions on Facebook prior to arrest for murder of three young Muslims , By Adam Withnall, The Independent, February 11, 2015]
Writing in the New Republic, self-proclaimed “Christian leftist ”Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has found a deeper problem with atheism. Two-thirds of its adherents are males, and while the she could not find any racial breakdown of atheists, she assumes (probably correctly) based on atheists’ high level of education, “it’s no surprise that the id of New Atheism tends toward ordaining modes of thought and expression that privilege educated white men”. [The Chapel Hill Murders Should Be a Wake-Up Call for Atheists, February 11, 2015] She thinks that this, rather than his background in evolutionary biology, explains why Richard Dawkins criticizes feminism.
While Stoker Bruenig acknowledges that Hicks’ motive is unknown, she says the shooting needs to be a “wake-up” call for atheists. She claims the wake-up call should be that “no ideology, supernatural or not, has a monopoly on evil.” But her real message is that, Christian or atheist, privileged educated white men are not allowed to say anything disparaging about Islam—or feminism.
Alexander Hart (email him) is a conservative journalist.