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Horror and hypocrisy in the USA Open in fullscreen

Riya al-Sanah

Horror and hypocrisy in the USA

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor, 21, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19.

Date of publication: 11 February, 2015

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Social media storm over the lack of media coverage of the murder of three Muslim students, Tuesday, in North Carolina. Where, ask users, is the media outrage?

The reaction - or lack thereof - to the murder of three young Muslims in the town of Chapel Hill in North Carolina has caused outrage on social media.

The three, all Palestinian-Americans, were identified as Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

Police were called to a bloc of flats east of the University of North Carolina campus at around 5pm, Tuesday, when they found three people dead at the scene.

The shooter, identified as Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, describes himself as an atheist and regularly condemned all religions on his Facebook. He is being held in Durham County Jail on three counts of first degree murder.

Barakat, an American basketball and football fan, was a dental student. He regularly volunteered for charities working with Syrian and Palestinian refugees as well as homeless people in his area.

Here he is featured in a video for the Refugee Smiles Project where he calls on people to donate money for his trip, along with ten other dentists, to treat Syrian refugees in Turkey.


Barakat and Yusor were reportedly married only six weeks prior to their murder.


Razan had recently started an Architecture and Enviromental Design degree at North Carolina State University. She also ran a blog focused on art and photography.


The shooting was met with an outpouring of anger on social media, where people posted pictures of the victims playing basketball, studying and doing charitable work. Many claimed the victems were targetted because of their religion.

 

 

Some compared the incident to the Charlie Hebdo shooting in Paris, and questioned why this shoooting was not described as a terrorist attack.

 

 

 

 


Others were outraged at the lack of media coverage. 

 

 

 


Carlos Latuff, the Brazilian political cartoonist, swiftly commented on the hypocrisy of the coverage.  

 



Twitter users also asked whether atheists should now be put under scrutiny and face calls to reform and apologise for the act of an individual in the same way Muslims across the world were in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.


 


 

 

Social media users also hinted at the systematic problems that led to such attacks taking place.


Others were not so sympathetic...

 


But the predominant sentiment on social media was one of outrage at the lack and hypocrisy of the media coverage and one of solidarity with the immediate family and Muslims more generally. Tweeters were also appreciative of the space provided to them by social media to highlight issues that are overlooked and ignored by mainstream media.



A Facebook page called Our Three Winners was set up in honour of the victims.

In the description it says that the page intends to "facilitate communication and will hopefully carry on their legacy of service, great character and joy for life."

People are calling for donation to the Syria Dental Relief Program in honour of the the victims.


 

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