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News, February 2015
Murdering Muslims Is Not Terrorism:
How the Media Describes Killing of Dhiya Barakat, his Wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her Sister Razan in North Carolina
February 12, 2015
When Muslims are murdered, CNN and Fox do not describe it as terrorism. However, if a Muslim is implicated in a crime, then the propaganda machine keeps working on the story for weeks, as terrorism.
The objective is to numb the population towards the death of Muslims, whether these are killed abroad or even as US citizens on the US soil, as the case with this terrorist attack on a Muslim family in North Carolina.
The corporate media are as responsible for this terrorist attack as the perpetrator because of their continuous Islamophobic, hate campaign against Islam and Muslims.
CNN Story: No mention of terrorism at all:
Who is Chapel Hill shooting suspect Craig Hicks?
By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
Updated 8:53 PM ET, Thu February 12, 2015
As thousands of mourners joined funeral prayers for the three victims, conflicting details emerged about the suspect, 46-year-old Craig Hicks.
His wife, who attorneys said is in the process of getting a divorce, described her husband as someone who believes everyone is equal. Karen Hicks told CNN affiliate WTVD, something inside his head must have snapped before the shooting.
Neighbors told reporters that Craig Hicks was known for angrily confronting people over everything from loud music to parking issues in the area. One described him as someone who showed "equal opportunity anger." At one point last year, the situation got so bad neighbors organized a meeting "to talk about how he kind of made everyone feel uncomfortable and unsafe," she said.
But the victims' families said there's no question religion was behind the gunman's decision to pull the trigger.
"We have no doubt that the way they looked and the way they believed had something to do with this," said Mohammad Abu-Salha, whose two daughters were killed in the shooting.
A Facebook page that is believed to belong to Hicks includes many posts that are critical of religion, particularly Christianity.
"If you plan to be enjoying heaven while multitudes are tortured ... then you are as much a sociopath as the god that you worship," one photo says. Another post describes religion as "the world's most successful pyramid scam."
The page describes Craig Hicks as an atheist and an anti-theist.
Anti-theists are a particularly outspoken group of atheists who can be confrontational about their disbelief, researchers at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga said in a recent study.
"Anti-theists view religion as ignorance and see any individual or institution associated with it as backward and socially detrimental," the researchers wrote. "The anti-theist has a clear and -- in their view, superior -- understanding of the limitations and danger of religions."
But Karen Hicks told reporters that the shooting had nothing to do with religion. Her husband believed in people's rights, she said.
"We were married for seven years and that is one thing that I do know about him. He often champions on his Facebook page for the rights of many individuals, for same-sex marriages, abortion, race. He just believed, and I know that's just one of the things I know about him, is everyone is equal," she said. "It doesn't matter what you look like or who you are or what you believe."
The Facebook profile includes numerous posts advocating same-sex marriage rights.
There are photos of Craig and Karen Hicks together at Disney World, and a photo of him riding an all-terrain vehicle in the woods.
A post on the page last month showed a photo of a gun on a scale. "Yes, that is 1 pound 5.1 ounces for my loaded 38 revolver, its holster, and five extra rounds in a speedloader," the caption reads.
Authorities haven't said what kind of gun the suspect used in this week's shooting. But one 911 caller described hearing six shots.
Asked about the Facebook page and the gun photo at a press conference on Wednesday, his wife declined to comment.
Instead, attorney Michele English stepped in.
"Mrs. Hicks has told us that her husband did have a concealed weapons permit. He was lawfully carrying a gun. He was a champion for Second Amendment rights," English said. "He believed strongly in them and the constitutionality behind those."
The Office of the Capital Defender in Durham, North Carolina, said it will be representing Craig Hicks. His attorney, Stephen Freedman, did not respond to a request for comment.
Recently, the accused gunman had been planning to play a very different role in the courtroom.
He was studying to become a paralegal at Durham Technical Community College. He was supposed to graduate in May, his wife said.
She told reporters that the shooting happened after her husband came home from class Tuesday.
At the school, Craig Hicks was an "exemplary student," college spokesman Carver Weaver said, and no trouble about him was ever reported.
Susan Sutton, who taught him in her classroom just before the shooting, told WRAL that HIcks was "bright, hard-working and kind."
'He kind of made everyone ... feel unsafe'
But at the Finley Forest condominium complex where Hicks lived, neighbors painted a different picture.
Christopher Lafreniere, a driver who often towed cars from the complex, told WRAL that Hicks called so much to request that cars be towed that it became a problem for the company.
"He didn't like people parking in his space, and he was really, really adamant," Lafreniere said. "I didn't understand why."
Last year, the problem became so severe that members of the community had a meeting to discuss it, Samantha Maness, 25, told the News & Observer newspaper.
"There were just a lot of instances of him getting people's cars towed, and just being very aggressive towards anyone who came, visitors, residents," she said. "And so someone in the community organized a meeting to talk about how he kind of made everyone in the community feel uncomfortable and unsafe."
Asked whether she thought the shooting had anything to do with religion, Maness said Hicks displayed "equal opportunity anger."
"I have seen and heard him be very unfriendly to a lot of people in this community," she said.
"He was very angry, anytime I saw him," she told WRAL.
CNN's Eric Fiegel, Jean Casarez, Daniel Burke and Ben Brumfield contributed to this report.
Fox News Story: No mention of terrorism at all:
Neighbor says NC triple murder suspect carried gun, obsessed with parking spaces
By Johnny Giles
Published February 12, 2015 FoxNews.com
Neighbor says NC triple murder suspect carried gun, obsessed with parking spaces | Fox News
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –
Online, Craig Stephen Hicks was obsessed with religion. Around the North Carolina apartment complex where he allegedly murdered three people Tuesday evening, neighbors say he was obsessed with parking spaces -- and known to brandish a gun.
Hicks, 46, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19. Although all the victims were Muslim, and Hicks had often railed against Islam and other religions online, police in Chapel Hill say it was an ongoing parking dispute that caused Hicks to snap.
“I felt like he hated everyone equally, but I didn’t think he would actually go so far as to kill somebody,” Michael Nam, who lives in the Finlay Forest Apartments where the murders took place and had a frightening run-in of his own with Hicks, told FoxNews.com. “He’s argued with a lot of people. Parking was a big issue.
“I’ve actually had the guy pull out his gun over my taking his parking space.”
- Michael Nam, neighbor of triple murder suspect
“I’ve actually had the guy pull out his gun over my taking his parking space,” Nam added. “Just having that one experience makes me think there is a possibility that the murders occurred as a result of an argument over the parking space.”
Another neighbor, Samantha Maness, 25, told the Raleigh News-Observer Hicks gave everyone a hard time, regardless of race or religion. Maness said neighbors even held a community meeting last year at the complex's clubhouse to discuss Hicks because his actions made them feel “unsafe and uncomfortable.”
But while those confrontations typically involved noise complaints or squabbling about people parking in a space Hicks claimed as his, online he lashed out at various religious groups.
A Facebook page in Hicks' name that described him as a supporter of “Atheists for Equality” and blasted “radical Christians and radical Muslims" for causing strife in the world.
“When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me,” he wrote on the page, without specifying a religion. “If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I. But given that it doesn’t, and given the enormous harm that your religion has done in this world, I’d say that I have not only a right, but a duty, to insult it, as does every rational, thinking person on this planet.”
This apartment in the normally quiet Finlay Forest Apartments complex in Chapel Hill, N.C., was the scene of a triple murder. (FoxNews.com)
The murdered women’s father, Dr. Mohammad Abu-Salha, a psychiatrist, told the Raleigh News-Observer Hicks had signaled a motive of hate in prior confrontations with his daughter, who attended North Carolina State University, as did her sister.
“This was not a dispute over a parking space; this was a hate crime,” he said. “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.”
Abu-Salha said his daughter, who lived next door to Hicks, wore a Muslim head scarf and told her family a week ago that she had a neighbor who “hates us for what we are and how we look.”
Sources told FoxNews.com Hicks, a paralegal student at Durham Technical Community College, lived with his wife of seven years, Karen, in a second-floor unit above Barakat and Abu-Salha. Although the murders took place inside the lower apartment, it was not clear if the killer was invited or forced his way in. Hicks, who had no prior criminal record and had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, turned himself in to a Chatham County sheriff’s deputy hours after the Tuesday evening attack.
Karen Hicks and her attorney, Robert Maitland, held a press conference Wednesday to deny that religious hatred animated Hicks.
The murders were triggered by “the mundane issue” of Hicks not being able to park his car and the “victims being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Maitland said.
Karen Hicks called her husband tolerant.
“He just believes that everyone is equal,” she said. “One of the things I do know about him is that he would often post on his Facebook page that he was for same-sex marriage, abortion and race.
A religious motive could elevate the triple murder to hate crime status, and possibly even open the door for a federal prosecution. U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina Ripley Rand said the murders appear to be isolated and not part of “an organized event against Muslims." Rand’s spokesman, Randy Tysinger, said "investigators are looking at all possibilities" when asked if the murders might have been a hate crime.
Determination that hatred of Muslims drove Hicks would not make a difference in his sentence if he ultimately is convicted of first-degree murder, according to University of North Carolina Law Professor Joseph Kennedy. He would either face life in prison without parole or the death penalty under state law. But if Hicks should be convicted of second-degree murder, a finding he was motivated by hate could add as much as three years to his sentence.
Even so, such a finding is not easily made, he said. Neighbors say Hicks’ angry demeanor did not include outward expressions of religious intolerance or racial hatred.
Authorities believe Hicks may have snapped when Deah Shaddy Barakat, a dental doctoral student at University of North Carolina, parked this car in a spot Hicks thought was his. (FoxNews.com)
“No one has a magic window into a person’s mind,” Kennedy told FoxNews.com. “What the statute says is that the sentence can be increased because of the victim’s religion, but that’s left to the jury to decide.”
Barakat was studying dentistry at the University of North Carolina, and worked with his wife to provide dental care for the poor through a U.S. charity. He had been planning to travel this summer to Turkey with a contingent of fellow dental students to provide aid to refugees of the civil war in Syria.
The killings left the quiet and normally safe college neighborhood in shock. Phil Varnadore, an area resident who works as a chef at the Four Corners Grille in Chapel Hill, people may never know what went on in the mind of a madman who killed three innocent people.
“I think he just had a psychotic breakdown and snapped,” Varnadore said. “Once you get to the point where you are going to kill someone, that doesn’t matter.”
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