The execution-style slaying of three Muslims: Will Obama call attacks ‘random’?

The execution-style slaying of three Muslims: Will Obama call attacks ‘random’?

Shortly after 5 p.m. last night, police in Chapel Hill, N.C., responded to a report of gunshots. When they arrived at the location where the shots had been fired, they found three victims: 23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat of Chapel Hill, 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad of Chapel Hill, and 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha of Raleigh. All three had been shot in the head, and all were pronounced dead at the scene.

One more detail that is crucial to the narrative that has already begun to unfold: All three were Muslim.

That in a nutshell is the back story, and it is tragic. But the reporting on the incident is just the beginning. A seemingly hastily penned story in the Washington Post headlined “Killing of 3 in Chapel Hill stirs alarm among Muslims” notes:

The news sparked outrage and a viral Twitter hashtag, #MuslimLivesMatter, reflecting users [sic] belief that the crime was religiously motivated and frustration with what they saw as the media’s failure to report the incident. [Emphasis added]

How anyone can accuse the media of failing to report an incident news of which essentially broke this morning is incomprehensible. At American Thinker, Rick Moran responds to the assertion with well deserved irony:

Really? The story appears on Fox News, WaPo, NY Daily News, Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Reuters, New York Times, ABC News and more than 200 other news websites, with more coverage being published every minute. I guess because the cable nets didn’t immediately — immediately, I say — pick up the story and cover it wall to wall (like if a black teen had been gunned down by police), then the MSM just doesn’t care about Muslim lives.

In short, the battle lines in the media have already been drawn along ideological lines. The alleged shooter, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has already turned himself in “without incident” to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, where he was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. Hicks’s motives may indeed have been religious, which is to say he appears at first blush to be an atheist. Again, from the Post:

Hicks … frequently shared links about atheism on what appears to be his Facebook page. One such post reads: “People say nothing can solve the Middle East problem, not mediation, not arms, not financial aid. I say there is something. Atheism.”

The site also has this as its banner: Atheism banner Rick Moran writes, “If the guy is an atheist, it wouldn’t have mattered if they were Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or Hindu.” It still may turn out that the shooter chose his victims based on their Islamic faith, which is certainly how the Council on American Islamic Relations is treating the incident.

The big question, though, is how Barack Obama will process this information. Just yesterday, he and his spokespeople came under fire from the mainstream media over his comment that the victims gunned down in a food shop in Paris were “random” targets of a crazed shooter. There was no mention of anti-Semitism or the fact that the deli was kosher and run by Jews.

Will the president call this another random shooting — which so far it appears to be? Or will he point to this tragedy as proof positive of rampant Islamophobia?

Stay tuned.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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