Ya Allah, the amount of pain I’m feeling right now is immeasurable.
I didn’t know Deah, Yusor or Razan personally, but after seeing the noor on their faces and reading stories about them, ya Raab – I’m in love. Three sweet, generous, upstanding humans who lived their lives giving back to their communities – here in America and in the Middle East.
Now I don’t know if Craig Stephen Hicks shot them because of their religion. CAIR and other Muslim groups, including the victims parents have called for NC county to investigate this as a hate crime, and I stand firmly with them on this issue. Basically, I don’t know with 100% certainty that he’s racist. But I know DAMN WELL the media is.
The immense under-reporting of this atrocity is another testament to the how racist the Western Islamophobic media apparatus is.
If the shooter was MUSLIM and the victims were WHITE, I guarantee you this would have made headline news of every major news conglomerate. But it took a massive social media presence and hashtags like #OurThreeWinners, #MuslimLivesMatter, before the media gave it a nod of the head.
I’ve always firmly believed that people are inherently good and honest. So if someone tells you they have a problem, they most likely do. The Muslim community has been YELLING, SCREAMING, PLEADING about the atrocious racist nature of the media. Why doesn’t anyone listen?
Let me give you an example. I go to the gym to relax and take care of my body. Tell me why there’s 5 TVs on, all on different news stations, and why the whole damn hour I’m on the treadmill, all I see is headlines about Islam. If it isn’t about terrorists, it’s a panel of “experts” asking, “Is Islam a violent religion? Does Islam promote killing?” YO, I’M SURE THERE’S OTHER MORE IMPORTANT NEWS Y’ALL CAN FOCUS ON. IT’S GETTING REALLY OLD. There’s a drug problem down my street. Theres homeless vets on my block. WE GOT MAD DOMESTIC ISSUES – WHY THE HARD-ON FOR MUSLIMS?
Might I add, I have read the Qur’an in Arabic and now in English, and I haven’t beheaded an infidel yet. GET OVER VILIFYING US.
Back to my point – the Islamophobic media apparatus. Every single day, millions of people tune in and drop out. Islamophobia is a disease and we’re all guinea pigs, being infected, spreading this virus that teaches it is “us versus them”. All we’re being sold is a picture of an “enemy” that looks like a Muslim, talks like a Muslim, practices Islam, is from “over there”, and wants to violently take away your freedom “over here”. Of course people are going to be Islamophobes! Of course the helpless sheep will begin to build anxiety, fear, confusion, and the targets of this unabashed bias will be – who? MUSLIMS!
My best friend Nargis Ahadi put it so eloquently, about this illness of Islamophobia:
“For the past day my news feed has been flooded with comments and images regarding those three innocent lives lost in Chapel Hill. Yes, there is no doubt that this is truly tragic and heartbreaking for not only the Muslim community but for anyone who has lost a loved one as a result of unlettered hate. But over and over again I am hearing the disappointment, anger, and irritation of many who are afraid this horrible act, like many others, will be attributed to mental illness. But what is this, if not mental illness? When the nation you live in constantly feeds you with distorted unchanging orientalist images of Muslims as the enemy, there is no doubt social anxiety, fear, and hate will be the result. This is unquestionably mental illness. And it is the worst of its kind. Islamophobia is a disease, a highly contagious, rapidly spreading and tragically fatal one that plagues the world we live in. Last year it claimed the lives of countless Palestinians. Last night it took those three beautiful souls in Chapel Hill. How many more lives will we lose before the world recognizes the need for a cure?”
We live in a society where there is a hierarchy of races. Trust and believe that Muslim lives are at the bottom of the totem pole, right next to black people and Hispanics. No one gives a sh*t about our lives when we’re the victims, only the perpetrators. I know for a damn fact that if the shooter had been Muslim and the victims had been white, there lives would have been held to a higher standard – journalistically and personally.Where’s the outrage? Where’s the vigils? Where’s the international condemnation? Where’s the blaming of whole communities? I don’t see anyone blaming all Atheists (as Craig Stephen Hicks claimed to be). I don’t see anyone demanding that all Atheist leaders come out and condemn the attacks or account for their whereabouts. But instead, after Deah, Razan and Yusor were killed in cold blood execution style with a bullet to the back of the head, the media put out a tutorial on how to find parking:
Like, IS THIS REAL LIFE??????? No mention of their names. A distasteful attempt on JUSTIFYING THEIR MURDERS. This is why we are SCREAMING, “MUSLIM LIVES MATTER. BLACK LIVES MATTER. LATINO LIVES MATTER. ANYONE-WHO-AINT-WHITE-F*CKING-MATTERS.”
Now listen, I love my white brothers and sisters. Technically, I’m white, Afghans are Caucasian. But I gotta keep it 100. We all know DAMN WELL there is severe underreporting of atrocities when they befall other races.
Man – when was the last time we saw a damn Black or Hispanic girl being kidnapped on the news? We saw JonBenet Ramsey, Elizabeth Smart, Lacy Peterson, Casey Anthony all day every day. We had updates of their trials and specials on 60 Minutes and damn Lifetime movies. Are you telling me that young black and Hispanic girls don’t get kidnapped and murdered either? That victims of child trafficking are just cute white girls with blonde hair and blue eyes???
I had 3 people tell me they didn’t know about the Chapel Hill shootings till they saw it on my FB page. My best friend told me she heard more about the measles that broke out in Disneyland. And all these people are non-Muslims, so they don’t have a paranoid bias that I might feel.
I don’t have a recipe for combatting Islamophobia. But I do know we can start from within. Deah, Razan, and Yusor were amazingly successful individuals who did so much for their communities in such a short amount of time. Deah led a campaign for dental care to children in Palestine and Syria. The three fed homeless people together for God’s sake. If we begin to change for the better within our community, no doubt there will be a ripple-effect. How can a radical-terrorist stereotype be attributed to us if we all become more like Our Three Winners? Let’s not even give a chance for the media to point fingers. It pisses me off that we even have to worry about petty sh*t like this, like “combatting stereotypes”, but this is the world we live in now. Bettering ourselves can begin to slowly take away the negativity surrounding Muslims.
I am praying that Deah and Yusor will celebrate their marriage together in Heaven. I am praying these three beautiful people are standing with Allah SWT. I pray for peace in the hearts of their parents and families. Ya Allah, I pray for a day when ALL people are paid homage to, when ALL lives are given equal and fair remembrance.
Inna Lilahi wa Inna Ilayhi Rajiun
الذين إذا أصابتهم مصيبة قالوا إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون
Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”