Three Muslim students were killed on Tuesday, Feb. 10 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina when a resident of their apartment building gunned them down, reportedly angry about a parking dispute.
The aggressor, 46-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks, has stated he was angry because the three students were parking on his side of the building, according to The New York Times.
University of North Carolina students Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammed Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were found dead in their apartment. All of them were killed by gunshot wounds in their heads.
Hicks’ wife told reporters, “This incident had nothing to do with religion or the victims’ faith but was related to a longstanding parking dispute that my husband had with the neighbors.”
That said, Hicks’ Facebook page indicates that he has an extreme disdain for religion, including Christianity and Islam. One post read, “I don’t deny you your right to believe whatever you’d like; but I have the right to point out it’s ignorant and dangerous for as long as your baseless superstitions keep killing people,” according to The Los Angeles Times.
Another post read, “I have every right to insult a religion that goes out of its way to insult, to judge, and to condemn me as an inadequate human being.”
The father of the two female victims told police and reporters that Hicks had harassed the three students on several occasions.
He also stated that harassment did not occur when Barakat lived by himself. However, when his wife moved in with him – always wearing a traditional hijab – Hicks began harassing the young couple.
Now, if you believe the cockamamie story provided by Hicks – the one where he was purely angry about a parking dispute – please re-evaluate your view of the world.
It simply isn’t logical to murder people over a parking spot.
Examining the facts presented, Hicks had an ongoing dispute with three college students about something as trivial as where they parked. However, this dispute did not start until a young woman wearing a hijab, which immediately indicated that she was Muslim, moved into the building.
Hicks was known to be especially threatening with these three students. He even went so far as to speak to them in their apartment while carrying a gun on his belt.
Oh, and let’s not forget that he shot all three of them in the head, execution style.
And yet, he has not been charged with hate crimes in addition to murder. The FBI defines a hate crime as “a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias.”
Considering Hicks made the conscious choice to enter the students’ apartment with a gun, and shot all three of them in the head, point-blank, I would argue that there was premeditation present – and it was not over something as a trivial as parking.
Frankly, why this hasn’t yet been considered a hate crime by the police astounds me. The investigation is still ongoing, so the police still have time to add those charges.
Personally, I hope they do. This type of injustice should never be tolerated. The foundation of this country is based on its diversity. We need to continue to protect it.