Over at PJ Media, I explore what’s behind the growing hysteria to get the Chapel Hill murders of three Muslims labeled a “hate crime”:
Muslims are under siege in the U.S. — don’t you know that? Roving bands of Islamophobes routinely harass and threaten innocent Muslims, and a well-heeled Islamophobia Network spends millions to demonize and vilify Muslims in the American public discourse. Things have gotten so bad that pious Muslim women fear to wear their hijabs in public – and when they do, they’re spat upon and worse. The climate of fear and hatred that the Islamophobes have so assiduously whipped up culminated in the horrific murder last Tuesday of three Muslims in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by a psychopath seething with hatred for Muslims.
That’s the way numerous leftists and Muslims see life in Barack Obama’s America, but in reality, that scenario is almost wholly false. A psychopath really did murder three Muslims in Chapel Hill last Tuesday, but the rest is pure leftist mythmaking, providing an illustrative example of how the Left and the mainstream media ignore inconvenient facts and bend others in order to further their chosen narrative.
Who is Craig Hicks?
The problems with this narrative are many. From the looks of his Facebook page, Hicks is hardly the right-wing, anti-Muslim Islamophobic redneck of their hysterical fantasies; instead, he is a hardcore leftist and fan of the Huffington Post and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those two are among his huge and revealing list of “Likes,” which shows him much more preoccupied with Christianity than with Islam. He likes the atheists Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Bill Maher, all of whom have criticized Islam, but his page includes none of their statements about Islam. He likes many anti-Christian groups but no groups that are critical of Islam, and he even likes a group called “Obama Backs Mosque Near Ground Zero: ‘This is America,’” praising Obama for supporting the Ground Zero Mosque.
Other “Likes” from Hicks’ Facebook page include Bill Nye The Science Guy; Sarah Silverman; Penn & Teller: Bullshit!; Stop the World, the Teabaggers Want Off; LGBT / Atheist Alliance; Scary Bible Quote of the Day; World Atheists: Lets Kick Islam and Christianity out of Africa; Merry christmyth; Pass The 28th Amendment – Complete Removal Of The Church From The State; The Rachel Maddow Fan Page; Pissing Off The Religious Right; Keep your Bible out of our Vaginas; Mitt Romney Sucks; Separation of Church and State; Still here? Silly Christians; Jesus McChrist; Denying Evolution Won’t Make Your God Any More Real; Dogs Against Romney; The Atheist’s Bible Commentary; Organization for Educating Misinformed Tea Party Patriots; GOPHypocrisy; Liberals Against Conservative Propaganda; Arrest the Pope and Tax Religion; Not wasting my Sundays at church; Network for Church Monitoring; Dominionism is destroying America; Christians vs. Atheists; Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Stop The Westboro Baptist Church!; and many, many more. Oh, and Gun Toting Liberal.
He likes no anti-Islam groups, and his Facebook page contains no criticism of Islam other than one comparison of “Radical Christians” and “Radical Muslims.” From the looks of all this at least, if Craig Hicks had been planning to commit a hate crime, it seems much more likely that he would have targeted “right-wingers,” Republicans, evangelical Christians, etc., than that he would have targeted Muslims because they were Muslims.
I can say with absolute belief that this incident had nothing to do with religion of the victims’ faith, but it was related to a longstanding parking dispute that my husband had with the neighbors.
These killings were over parking, not Islam
The Chapel Hill Police said the same thing: these killings were over parking, not Islam. Karen Hicks added that her husband “often champions on his Facebook page for the rights of individuals. … He believes everyone is equal – doesn’t matter what you look like or who you are or what you believe.” U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand stated Wednesday:
“The events of yesterday are not part of a targeting campaign against Muslims in North Carolina,” and that there was “no information this is part of an organized event against Muslims.”
It is demonic madness to murder people over a parking space, but it is not the seismic event that the cold-blooded murder of three Muslims solely because they were Muslims would be. And so many decided to go with the old adage from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
The father of one of the victims insisted: “This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime. This man had picked on my daughter and her husband a couple of times before, and he talked with them with his gun in his belt. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far.” He said his daughter told him: “Honest to God, he hates us for what we are and how we look.”
Is the sky falling on accusations of Islamophobia?
Curious that Craig Hicks would seethe with such hatred for Muslims that it would move him to murder, and yet never mention this hatred to his wife of seven years or give a hint of it on his Facebook page, where so many of his hates were on abundant display. Nonetheless, it was time to turn the legend into fact: Nihad Awad of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) thundered:
Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case.
There is a tendency to say, “This is a nice place, these eruptions of violence don’t belong here.” And yet here we are. This is, in all of the heartbreak and violence and sadness, where we are.
Islamic supremacist activist Linda Sarsour said the murder “sends a message to other young people in the Muslim community that the fear is valid.” Abed Ayoub of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) linked the killings to the film American Sniper (which Craig Hicks actually probably hates):
It may not be directly linked to the film, but the overall way that Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment are moving in this country is portrayed in the words of those who watched American Sniper. The film gave us a look into how these individuals were feeling and for the first time we were getting raw, real messages – and they were frightening.
Read the rest here.