Outrage over North Carolina shootings sparks #muslimlivesmatter campaign
WATCH ABOVE: Deaths of 3 college students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina goes spurs social media campaign. Angie Seth reports.
Frustration over the shooting deaths of three young Muslim students in North Carolina spread across social media Wednesday with the hashtag #muslimlivesmatter appearing in posts around the world.
The hashtag calls for attention to the deaths of the three victims and for respect from the mainstream media and law enforcement officials in the United States. The hashtag is a take on the #blacklivesmatter Twitter campaign that went viral following the grand jury decisions in the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner on Staten Island, NY.
The three students were shot and killed in Chapel Hill, N.C., at a condominium complex near the University of North Carolina Tuesday night in what police say was the result of an ongoing dispute over a parking spot.
WATCH: Father of Chapel Hill shooting victims believes murders were hate crimes. Kathryn Brown reports.
The father of two Muslim women killed in a triple shooting at a condominium near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said Wednesday that the suspected gunman hated his daughter and son-in-law for who they were and how they lived, and he believes their deaths are hate crimes. Kathryn Brown reports.
Craig Stephens Hicks, 46, has been arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree murder.
The three victims have been identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and Yusor Mohammed, 21, both of Chapel Hill who were married just over a month ago. Mohammed’s sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, was also killed.
Beautiful newlyweds Deah Barakat & Yusor Abu-Salha – murdered in their home last night. Prayers to their families 🙏 pic.twitter.com/TC9vnI6jBC
— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) February 11, 2015
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil advocacy organization in the U.S., called on law enforcement Wednesday to investigate whether the killings were motivated by “anti-Muslim rhetoric.”
“Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, 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,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad in a statement.
WATCH: Family of Chapel Hill shooting victim Deah Barakat speaks
In an email to the Associated Press, Chapel Hill police Chief Chris Blue said “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.”
Across social media, debate over the killings has been filled with frustration and anger. The Facebook group, Our Three Winners, has been setup to remember the three students. The group also includes a link to a YouTube video for Refugee Smiles, an organization Barakat worked with, that provides urgent dental care to Syrian refugees.
“As we mourn their tragic loss, we are also inspired to see how much these young people accomplished in their short lives. In an increasingly individualistic world, their lives stand as a shining example to young people all over the world,” Abed Aoub, president of United Muslim Relief, said in a statement.
On Twitter, some questioned why there hasn’t been a similar media reaction to the terror attacks in Paris or killing of Michael Brown. Others used the #muslimlivesmatter and #ChapelHillShooting to share photos and remember the victims.
— Kia Makarechi (@Kia_Mak) February 11, 2015
— Shahzad PTI (@shahzad2404) February 11, 2015
I wonder when all world leaders will come and hold hands and march on the streets of Chapel Hill to condemn Islamphobia. #MuslimLivesMatter
— Dr. Yasir Qadhi (@YasirQadhi) February 11, 2015
Show the world how beautiful these individuals were. The media doesn’t want to, so we will. #ChapeHillShooting
— MohaNNad أبو مازن (@TheMoeDee) February 11, 2015
This is our mainstream media pic.twitter.com/A1apnL3QyZ
— McBaŋɠ (@TheMcBang) February 11, 2015
— Raja OmarFarooq Khan (@RajaOmarFarooq) February 11, 2015
— McBaŋɠ (@TheMcBang) February 11, 2015
— Candace Sweat (@WRALCandace) February 11, 2015
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