Chapel Hill Shooting: Do Only White Lives Matter?

We follow different books to lead a life in a perfect way. We hesitate to do wrong things as we believe there is a person who is going to punish us. But how far is it correct that a person kills another only because he hates their religion. Is religion over ruling humanity?

From their engagement, to wedding, to heaven…together. 3 Angels shot in the head while in their home minding their own business. Rest in peace; Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad & Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. All religions promote peace. Many following religions promote hate, that makes no sense. 


Craig Hicks, Chapel Hill Shooting Suspect:

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was charged on February 18th with murdering three members of a Muslim family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Although the motivation of the murder is unclear, police assumes it to be a parking dispute which gradually worsened.

Posts that Hicks made earlier this year:

However, Hicks was active on Facebook page in which he has been uploading anti-religious photos and his gun with the caption “Loaded 38 revolver.”

Police identified the victims as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, Barakat’s wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. News of the tragic shooting quickly spread on social media, giving rise to the Twitter hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter, which circulated Tuesday evening and into the following day.


US government’s silence over Chapel Hill killing case:

There has been a growing difference between US and Turkey over tackling the rebels. Turkey has been against Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria after he backed rebels fighting to replace him. This led to formation of a militant group and influence international intervention in the war.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey is criticising Barack Obama, President of US for remaining silent even after such incident. Enrique Pena Nieto, President of Mexico during a state visit to Mexico on Thursday said that the silence from US government shall not be accepted and should take a position for such acts and “If you stay silent when faced with an incident like this, the world will stay silent towards you.”

Media Devaluation Of Muslim Lives:

It is not a small thing to be ignored. One atheist killed 3 innocent people for being Muslims. There is a broader context to this. This involves a brutal truth.

The victims were killed at approximately 5:11pm on 10th February, 2015. The identity of the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was revealed roughly seven hours later. Even after receiving the fact, the national media has been silent. Racial and religious would stimulate attention from media on a global scale. The cause of the execution is likely to be hate crime looking at the evidence available. However, the government remains silent with the excuse that the criminal is having a mentally unstable background which seems quite vague as it is quite difficult for a person with unstable mental condition to operate their day to day life without any mental support from any medical institutions.


When there are many Muslims who are facing this hate feeling only based on their religion, there should be policies made in such a way that white people don’t find Muslims any different. But instead the state surveillance which are represented in Institutional policy i.e. profiling and counter- radicalisations programming make Muslim identity to suspicion and subversion emboldens the hatred violence inflicted by private citizens, like Hicks. Target being the Muslim Americans, the state-sponsored government policies show the conflation of Muslim identity with a terrorist threat. Between media misrepresentation and neglect, and systematic state surveillance and suppression of Muslims, the facts in the US lead to the undeniable conclusion that Muslim lives don’t matter.


If the case is in vice versa that is if Muslim is the culprit and not the victim, would this media outlets in USA be slow to report. Their religion mattered most for US media outlets as well, who lagged to cover the story.CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC finally released stories of the murders 11th February morning: More than 12 hours after the three young adults’ lives were taken leaving Muslims to wonder:


In a conversation recorded by the storytelling Project Corps last Summer, Yusor embraces her dual identity, and the diversity around her. This is selection of her conversation…“Growing up in America has been such a blessing and, you know , although in some ways I do stand out, such as, as you know, the Hijab I wear on my head , the head covering, there are still so many ways that i feel embedded in the fabric that is, you know , our culture. And that’s the beautiful thing here, is that it doesn’t matter where you come from. There are so many different people from so many different places of different backgrounds and religions. But here we’re all one, one culture. And it’s beautiful to see people of different areas interacting and being family. And being, you know, one community.”


From when it is that a person hates another person based on their name? It is not only in the person feelings or also something which US government can also figure out. Because many Muslims in US do not get that freedom to do what they want.  She says growing up in America is a blessing but this American media did not respond to this murder for 12 hours. Is it that we need to believe stereotypes or should we strike out them from our mind. Based on these stereotypes of Muslims as Villains, Is it that their lives only matter only when they are culprits but not when they are victims.

Irrespective of what rallying cries, signs or adapted hashtags proclaim, Muslim lives in America don’t matter. To a person who is what will it take for us to acknowledge that religion and race mean close to NOTHING. When will we wake up and unify as PEOPLE? We are divided based on books we choose to follow that teach us to be kind, loving and pious. No religion promotes evil. ALL lives matter man. not one over the other. We were all brought here the same way and will all be leaving to the same place.



By Pavani Chennamasseti


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here