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
… 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.