The Palestinian Authority has condemned the murders of three Muslims in North Carolina as an act of “terrorism,” and in the wake of that magical-forensic pronouncement, has demanded that the United States include its investigators in the criminal probe.
Branding [accused killer Craig] Hicks “an American extremist and hateful racist”, the Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the incident suggested a rise in dangerous discrimination against American Muslims.
“We consider it a serious indication of the growth of racism and religious extremism which is a direct threat to the lives of hundreds of thousands of American citizens who follow the Islamic faith,” the ministry said in a statement.
It called for “a serious investigation and the involvement of Palestinian investigators to clarify the circumstances of these assassinations and premeditated murders” in Chapel Hill.
Set aside for a moment the breathtaking, well, chutzpah being demonstrated by the PA. The authorities in Chapel Hill have been giving due consideration to the consistent reports of neighbors that Hicks had a longstanding dispute over parking places with the three young Muslims, who lived in the same condominium complex. Hicks reportedly had alarmed other neighbors by taking up his beefs with them on their doorsteps, wearing a handgun on his hip.
He may or may not have had anything in particular against Muslims. The authorities should certainly take seriously the comments family members report from the two sisters who were killed, Yusor and Razan Abu Salha, that they felt as if Hicks disliked them for wearing Muslim headscarves. Nothing should be dismissed or discounted out of hand.
That said, the United States needs no instruction from the PA in prosecuting murder. America also needs no instruction in mourning – mourning in unity, as if there are no dividing lines of ethnicity or religion – the senseless murder of young people who appear to have had bright futures ahead of them. Americans prefer, for the most part, to focus on what unifies us: our common humanity, our concern that everyone be able to live in safety, our positive passion for community and tolerance.
I urge the PA, and Muslim leaders in the U.S., not to beat the drum of “racism.” If there is actual proof that, for Craig Hicks, it was about that, it will come out soon enough. If we are forced onto such divisive terrain for purely political reasons, we are going to find that no one in the story would win a prize for avoiding “racism.” College students today are encouraged on their campuses to hold prejudiced views of white people and pro-Israel Jews, for example, and Deah Barakat’s tweets in the last couple of years confirm that he fit that pattern.
That is actually as much of a tragedy as anything else. But it need never be brought up, if partisan actors like the PA, whose daily behavior defines intolerance, will refrain from trying to use the horrible murder of these three young people to indict America, by far the most incredibly and deliberately tolerant nation ever to exist.
What the PA must not be allowed is the convenient double standard which so many on the political left now use to hold their favorite demographic targets in a state of perpetual culpability. The PA, and Muslim Brotherhood-linked advocacy groups, don’t get to accuse others of invidious racism from a position of imputed blamelessness. If they bring it up, it’s fair game: no one else is obliged to ignore their racism on principle while allowing himself to be rolled. If their racism was shared, however casually and in whatever callow, juvenile form, by one of the murder victims, so be it. Perhaps more Americans will learn that the PA is itself an extremist hate group with an irreducibly racist viewpoint.
The Palestinian Authority is, in fact, one of the very last organizations on earth that should be invited anywhere to “investigate” racism or extremism. Unfortunately, we can’t count on Barack Obama, Eric Holder, or Loretta Lynch to uphold our sovereign prerogatives in the spirit that is both morally and politically appropriate here. But maybe we’ll get lucky.