Friday, February 20, 2015

Accused of Being a Christian Right-Winger, Killer of 3 Muslims Turns Out to Be (Surprise!) an Anti-Theist on the Political Left

Immediately following the [Chapel Hill] murders, the internet buzzed with speculation that the victims—Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha—had been targeted because they were Muslims
writes Benny Huang.
Early assumptions were that [Craig Hicks] must have been a right-winger and a Christian, presumably because he’s white and from the “Bible Belt.” (Anyone who thinks Chapel Hill is part of the Bible Belt obviously hasn’t been there lately.)

Slowly the truth came out—Hicks, as it turns out, is on the political Left and a self-described “anti-theist” to boot. Whatever his beef with Islam may be, this acolyte of Richard Dawkins also harbors animus against all religions. His Facebook page sums up his attitude toward people of faith: “Of course I want religion to go away. I don’t deny you your right to believe whatever you’d like; but I have the right to point out that it’s ignorant and dangerous as long as your baseless superstitions keep killing people.” [Emphasis original.]
Noting that Craig Hicks seems to be affiliated with United Atheists of America and that the IB Times reports that his "Facebook Likes included the Huffington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Bill Nye 'The Science Guy,' Neil deGrasse Tyson, 'Gay Marriage' groups and similar progressive pages", Eagle Rising's Tim Brown called the killer nothing less than a "disgusting atheist."
Craig Hicks’s wife, Karen Hicks, claimed that the victims’ religion was incidental to the crime, which she says actually arose from a long-standing parking dispute … It sounded as if Mrs. Hicks was desperately trying to obfuscate her husband’s true motive in order to shield him from accusations of bigotry, or worse, from federal hate crimes charges.

Yet other residents of the same apartment complex where the shooting took place confirm Karen Hicks’s version of events, saying that Mr. Hicks was absolutely obsessed with residents parking in their assigned spaces. A local towing company said that Hicks’s requests to tow unknown cars got to be so repetitive that they eventually refused to respond to his calls. He also had a reputation for being loud and aggressive. Residents reportedly held a meeting to discuss what to do about this troublesome man.
 … Unfortunately, under federal law, the killer’s motive makes all the difference in the world. We have a thing in this country called “hate crimes,” you see, which is an utterly insipid category that really shouldn’t exist. If Craig Hicks murdered three people because they were Muslims then he will face federal charges and, theoretically at least, a stiffer sentence. If he murdered them for some other reason, he won’t.

A harsher sentence may not even be possible in this case, as Hicks stands a chance of being sentenced to death. How do you top that? Yet hate crimes charges may still be filed because it’s not enough to demonstrate that Craig Hicks killed these people; the court still has to determine if he hated them while he was doing it. Such is the stupidity of hate crimes laws.

 … Nowhere in America is assault legal unless the victim happens to be unborn, though that’s another column entirely. It doesn’t matter if that person is black or white, a man or a woman, a libertarian, Unitarian, vegetarian, or Rotarian. Such laws don’t distinguish between people based on their race or their bedroom behavior. Nor should they.

But hate crimes laws do. They require jurors to peer into the mind of the assailant and determine if he was motivated by “hate.” Hating someone for parking in the wrong space doesn’t count. If he wasn’t motivated by “hate,” or if his hate was directed against groups that don’t appear on Eric Holder’s list of recognized victims, then the perp receives a lesser sentence and the feds don’t get involved.

That’s not justice.
Eagle Rising's Tim Brown adds that they
call it a "hate crime." Let me ask anyone, is there any other crime? Is there a crime that occurs out of love? Every crime that occurs against another person made in the image of God is a crime that is born of hate, period. True, it may have been because Hicks despised their dress and religion, but he also hated Christians too.