Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
Parking Space Terrorism:
Time for Action After Killing of Three US
By Ramzy Baroud
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, February 20, 2015
murder of three American Muslims at a University of North Carolina
condominium on Tuesday, 10 February, was no ordinary murder, nor is the
criminal who killed them an ordinary thug. The context of the killings, the
murder itself and the media and official responses to the horrific event is
a testimony to everything that went wrong since the United States unleashed
it’s long-drawn-out “war on terror”, with its undeclared, but sometimes
declared enemy, namely Islam and Muslims.
Horrific as it was, the
killing of a husband and wife, Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and her
sister, Razan Abu-Salha, by homegrown terrorist, Craig Stephen Hicks, is the
kind of violence that can only fit into a greater
official narrative, which designates millions of innocent Muslims, in
the US or across the world as enemies or potential terrorists.
Countless television hours and endless space in numerous media has been
dedicated to vilify and demonize Muslims throughout recent years. Muslims’
attempts to distance themselves from every militant grouping, ideology and
tendency has done them no good. A Muslim is a terrorism suspect until proven
innocent, especially if a bearded, brown man, or a headscarf-clad woman.
The end result of that dehumanization has been racism,
extra-judicial killings and war. It was only a matter of time before
that violence reached the nominally safe Muslim communities in the US
The episode of dehumanization is long, complex and
protracted; also, quite clever, for it involves billion-dollar media outfits
and Hollywood itself, which already has an awful track record regarding
negative and stereotypical representation of Arabs and Muslims.
The outcome is a whole industry that is predicated on double standards and
enthusiasm for more military interventions means that supposed “moral
awakening” inspired by the advent of President Barack Obama rarely
registered in the collective psyche of the nation. While there is ample
evidence that Americans are “tired” of war, that very war fatigue should not
be conflated with a departure of the type of dialectics that rationalized
war in the first place.
In fact, while the cheerleaders for war
might change political camps, ideology or even religious philosophy,
ultimately, they are the same breed of people: a mostly white, male
dominated and chauvinistic tribe of well-funded politicians and media
pundits, with an unquenchable thirst for “intervention”.
terrorist who killed the three young Muslims, subscribes to a school of
thought known as New Atheism, what religious scholar Reza Aslan refers to as
the school of “anti-theism”. It is, in part, another hate-filled platform,
and despite its supposed disdain for all religions,
their malicious energy mostly targets Muslims.
They, of course,
are different from the majority of atheists, who don’t use that designation
to foment hate against a specific religious group.
The anti-theist idols include the likes of Richard Dawkins and Sam
Harris, who, according to Aslan, respond “to religion with the same venomous
ire with which religious fundamentalists respond to atheism”.
of his Facebook posts, Hicks, a lover of guns,
“The last vestige of respect for the taboo
disappeared as I watched the ‘Day of Prayer’ in Washington Cathedral, where
people of mutually incompatible faiths united in homage to the very force
that caused the problem in the first place: religion.”
course, not any religion, but Islam. Let alone that such ignorant breed pay
no heed to any relevant political context, they so foolishly blame a whole
religion for what is essentially a political conflict. Did they ever pause
to wonder if it might be possible that invading countries, killing, raping,
pillaging, destroying mosques and churches, and
urinating on the dead, have something to do with why many Muslims hate
US foreign policy and are willing to use violence in response?
too hated the three Muslim kids based on that same foolish, murderous logic.
But hating Muslims is not your everyday racism and prejudice, which has
been “as American as apple pie and Napalm” (a funny, sad line from the
American comedy, M.A.S.H). It is a readily available fodder for the ongoing
war and future war in Muslim countries. It is the required amount of
dehumanization needed to wage war.
This is why Islam and Muslims are
equated with terrorism, and why terrorism is used almost exclusively to
describe violent acts committed or allegedly committed by Muslims.
The same champions of this invalid logic are those who constantly push the
line: "All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims."
The assumption might be inane, but the intention is anything but. It
absolves the war criminals, who planned, executed and justified the war; the
soldiers who did the fighting, and those who ensured that there can be no
legal accountability for its numerous awful deeds – millions being killed,
maimed and all.
it puts the onus on ordinary Muslims who are set up to prove their
innocence to no avail, to absolve themselves from a crime they never
committed, in fact, to answer for someone else’s crimes.
who walked into the flat of three students in Chapel Hill, NC and shot them,
execution style, was not a Muslim. He comes from Christian heritage. He is
not black or brown, but white. His name is not Ahmed, but Craig.
That changes everything.
Neither the police nor the media would describe his crime as a hate
crime, let alone terrorism, although his terrorism is unique in a way. His
type resides on the top of the food chain in terms of race, gender and other
criteria. Yet, somehow he is politically frustrated. Go figure.
is not a member of a radicalized generation born into oppression, foreign
invasion, poverty and other untold humiliation. If that was the case, one
can, at least to a degree fathom the hate, deconstruct the anger, or even
rationalize that violence is a natural outcome of a certain reality.
Hicks is of the Fox News demographic, gun touting unreasonably and
immeasurably angry, white American. Self-proclaimed atheist or otherwise, it
So Hicks, we are told, killed the students
“execution style” because of a dispute over parking spaces.
way that Chris Kyle – “The American Sniper” - made 164 confirmed “kills” in
Iraq, targeting “savages” because that’s what national heroes do.
And US wars and sanctions on Iraq killed, starved and wounded millions to
bring democracy to the Arabs.
This selectively insane logic will
persist however, because there are millions of unrepentant politicians,
extremist media pundits and well-armed men and women who refuse to see the
recklessness of their “logic”.
They will continue to feed violence -
which unlike what Hicks is led to believe - didn’t start on 11 September
2001 - and spit out the most dangerous of militant phenomena: al-Qaeda, IS
and all the rest.
It is time for Muslims to demand that Obama issue
more than a statement, but call the United States government and hate-filled
media to account. These outrageous double standards must end, before more
innocent lives are taken.
- Ramzy Baroud – www.ramzybaroud.net -
is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a media consultant, an author of
several books and the founder of PalestineChronicle.com. He is currently
completing his PhD studies at the University of Exeter. His latest book is
My Father Was a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story (Pluto Press, London).
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