Islamophobia is probably one of the most discussed issues in the recent times. With the IS killings at large along with the Charlie Hebdo tragedy, it is as if the tetris blocks are falling right into place to create reasons for the mass to hate the religion. However, can these be used to justify again the Chapel Hill shooting where three brilliant personalities were killed at the ‘comfort’ of their own home?
Deah, his wife, Yousor and his younger sister, Razan had been the victims of, as they put it, ‘hate crime’. A video footage of the WNCN news spoke of how “the person of interest” i.e. the shooter had been taken into custody and “there is no ongoing threat”. I noticed how there was a concerned father inquisitively asking the police for further info, but without much use. Also, around that time, either it’s my poor eyesight or there wasn’t any gathering around that area.
Another recent attack had taken place not so while back- of course, I speak of the Charlie Hebdo incident. Now, what strikes as really odd is, I do not see the same reaction regarding the Chapel Hill shooting. The ‘terrorists’ were clearly brutal, and they have tried to silence the voices of people and violate the freedom of press, but what about the three brilliant students who were not even involved in any acts of controversies and more indulged in helping the Palestenian and Syrian refugees? Unless, the latter is an heinous act of crime and they ‘deserved’ the punishment they got.
Well, the Charlie Hebdo shooters were clothed in black and the term ‘gunmen’ has sort of a nice ring to it now, doesn’t it? I mean, after all, they did rush into private property and shoot down some very important people, particularly ones who were trying to uphold the freedom of voice. According to CNN, “the man accused of killing three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina” had been “indicted” and “charged”. Furthermore, entering somebody’s apartment and killing them on their residence doesn’t count as murder, na-da. After all, these two events do not carry the same level of importance.
From where I stand, I am very much aware of how mighty the pen is, but only when it is used for just purposes. I do not condemn Charlie Hebdo for working on satirical pieces, but if their attack is being marked as an assault on freedom of press, then the Chapel Hill shooting can be an example of so many issues! Hello, invasion of privacy, for starters? Chapel Hill is a residential area for students and the elders. For argument’s sake, I shall overlook the fact that three Muslims have been killed, and just focus on the fact that three individuals have been killed inside their home- doesn’t that create a question as to how secure people are? Remove the part where the victims were Muslims and watch the press have a heyday over this case.
This is how Islamophobia has crept into our society and made us biased. People are accustomed into blaming Islam and Jihadis for every terrorist activity that takes place on the face of Earth, so much so that when the characters are reversed, no one blames the ‘other’ guy. Islam bears the tagline of violence, and no one is ready to place that tag on anybody/anything else. The three hardworking Muslims were not responsible for running a magazine, no, but I do understand that they had a lot of potential and goodness in them. They were genuinely trying to help the society in lieu of blaming the people who were responsible for inflicting pain. I believe, rather than sitting around in an office and drawing satirical cartoons in order to criticize, it is far more beneficial to move around and help those who are in need, and that too for a good cause.
As for all the Islamophobes, I suppose they will fail to recognize that the religion they are being dubious of, the teachings of that very religion had inspired Deah, Yousor and Razan to aid those who were in need of it. Had it been the other way round, the news and social networking sites would have been flooded with headlines of how a selfless family of three had been inhumanly murdered by a Jihadi. Why not? In today’s world, the second one sells more than the first one does.