Follow us on
Welcome Guest! You are here: Home » International
Probe it as hate crime, North Carolina Muslim victims' family urge police
Thursday February 12, 2015 12:01 PM, Agencies

Even as the Chapel Hill police suspected that the killing of three Muslim students at North Carolina University campus could be a case of a dispute over parking, the family members of the victims demanded a probe into the case as hate crime.

North Carolina killing

"This was not a dispute over a parking space, this was a hate crime," Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of the two slain women, told the News & Observer newspaper .

"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. And they were uncomfortable with him, but they did not know he would go this far", he added.

Three Muslim students identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat (23), his wife Yusor Mohammad (21), and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (19) were gunned down Tuesday. Chapel Hill police told local news outlets that Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was arrested and charged with killing the three Muslim students.

Suzanne Barakat, sister of Barakat, appealed to authorities on behalf of her family, saying "we ask that the authorities investigate these senseless and heinous murders as a hate crime".

Gerod King of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said that agents were in touch with the US attorney's office in North Carolina that encompasses Chapel Hill and that investigators had not ruled out a hate crime.

"We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated, and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case," Chapel Hill police Chief Chris Blue said in an email to reporters.

The cautious wording of the police statement contrasted sharply with the anguished reaction among some American Muslims who viewed the homicides as an outgrowth of anti-Muslim opinions.

Outrage was voiced on social media with the hashtags #MuslimLivesMatter and #CallItTerrorism.

"Based on the brutal nature of this crime ... the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case," Nihad Awad, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a statement.

Vigils for the victims were being held on Wednesday night in North Carolina and elsewhere around the US.

Barakat and Mohammad were newlyweds who helped the homeless and raised funds to help Syrian refugees in Turkey this summer.

Abu-Salha was visiting them on Tuesday from Raleigh, where she was studying.

Imad Ahmad, who lived in the condo where his friends were killed until Barakat and Mohammed were married in December, said Hicks complained about once a month that the two men were parking in a vistor's space as well as their assigned spot.

Both Hicks and his neighbours complained to the property managers, who apparently did not intervene.

"They told us to call the police if the guy came and harassed us again," Ahmad said.

Hicks, who appeared briefly in court on Wednesday, is being held without bond. Police said Hicks turned himself in and was cooperating.



Share this page
 Comments
Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com
comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement
| Quick links
About ummid.com
Contact us
Feedback
Subscribe to: RSS » Facebook » Twitter » Newsletter
Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange
Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.
© 2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.