A horrid story out of North Carolina, where three young Muslim American lives were needlessly taken:
A North Carolina man was charged with three counts of first-degree murder for shooting three Muslim students in their Chapel Hill house on Tuesday, reports said. Police responded to a call of gunfire shots near the University of North Carolina around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has reportedly been accused of killing the three, who have been identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. Barakat and Yusor had married just two months back and the three of them were living together in a house near the university.
Hicks handed himself in Tuesday night, The Independent reported.
As with any story like this, assumptions immediately became the game of the day following the discovery of the suspects Facebook page:
As tributes poured in for the young family, a Facebook page in Hicks’ name showed that he read paralegal studies at Durham Technical Community College and described himself as a supporter of “Atheists for Equality”.
A regular social media user, his last three posts were a cute dog video about the Pavlov effect, a viral advert for Air New Zealandinvolving mountain bikes, and a picture from United Atheists of America asking “why radical Christians and radical Muslims are so opposed to each others’ influence when they agree about so many ideological issues”.
TV programmes liked by Hicks include The Atheist Experience, Criminal Minds and Friends, while he describes himself as a fan of Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason and Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion.
That was enough to give people the ammo they needed to equate this to being a hate crime because of the religion of the victims and the atheism of the suspect. It even gave Jonah Goldberg a sudden love of Muslims:
But the problem with assumptions is that they are typically wrong. Let me rewind.
As soon as I found the Facebook page of the suspect, I started digging into it. Honestly many of his posts could be things found on my own page. But then I found one post from exactly one month ago:
It is official, I am a grumpy old man. I now am sure of this, as when I saw a couple having sex in their vehicle in my parking lot a little bit ago instead of just ignoring it I called Chapel Hills finest on them.
Right then it hit me. Perhaps this had nothing to do with the religion of the victims, but rather a sickness that has become epidemic in our society – the taking of lives over minor disputes.
I then found another article about the shooting, which had this piece of information I hadn’t seen before:
Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for CAIR, said he has heard “unsubstantiated reports” from community members that the victims had previous interactions with Hicks, including a dispute about a parking spot.
And sure enough, since originally finding that article, the story has now been verified by police:
The Chapel Hill Police Department said Wednesday morning that initial indications suggested that the issue stemmed from an argument over parking.
“Our preliminary investigation indicates that the crime was motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking,” the department said in a statement. “Hicks is cooperating with investigators and more information may be released at a later time.”
So no, Jonah, this was not a “hate-crime” and the fact that you decided to jump to that conclusion without knowing the facts shows you really don’t give a damn about actual hate crimes.
And if we want to use Jonah’s rationale for basing this as a hate crime, well over 80% of the federal prison population is Christian, while only 0.07% atheist, so which group is the most violent or likely to break the law? And let that serve as a reminder that you can’t spell assumption with out ASS.