Copenhagen murderer terrorist, North Carolina murderer not terrorist?


This video from the USA says about itself:

#MuslimLivesMatter: Loved Ones Honor NC Shooting Victims & Reject Police Dismissal of a Hate Crime

12 February 2015

Thousands gathered on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill last night to remember the three Muslim students shot dead by a gunman who had posted anti-religious messages online. The victims were two sisters — 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha and 21-year-old Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha — and Yusor’s husband, 23-year-old Deah Barakat. Suspected gunman Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder.

… On Wednesday, police said the killings resulted from a dispute over a parking space. But Mohammad Abu-Salha, the father of Razan and Yusor, described the shootings as a hate crime. The killings in Chapel Hill have sparked an international outcry, with the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter spreading across social media. A community Facebook page was set up Wednesday in memory of the three victims, called “Our Three Winners.” We are joined by two guests: Amira Ata, a longtime friend of Yusor, and Omid Safi, director of Duke University’s Islamic Studies Center.

When recently a gunman murdered three human beings in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA, many people wondered why establishment politicians and corporate media did not call this crime terrorism.

Was it because the victims were Muslims, and the perpetrator hated Muslims? People asked that about media in, eg, the USA, in Britain, and in the Netherlands.

Shortly after North Carolina, another gunman murdered human beings. Two human beings in Copenhagen, Denmark.

This video from Denmark says about itself:

People laid flowers outside the Copenhagen synagogue on Sunday (February 15) where a shooting killed one person and wounded two police officers.

Suddenly, politicians and corporate media re-discovered the word ‘terrorism’. Already before anything was known about who perpetrated this crime, and why (like in the mass murders by Norwegian Islamophobe Breivik, when the Murdoch media and others claimed these massacres were by Muslims, while they did not know anything about Breivik yet). The Prime Minister of Denmark does use the word terrorism now. The New York Times in the USA does. Eg, Dutch daily paper Metro of 16 February 2015 had the word Terror in chocolate letter size in the headline of its main front page story.

Why this rediscovery of the t-word? Because, unlike in North Carolina, the victims were not Muslims, and the perpetrator (probably) was Muslim, or at least had an ‘Islamic sounding name’?

On page two of that Metro issue, columnist Jan Dijkgraaf leaves the distinct impression that this is the case, in a column called What’s next? He claims there is a pattern in ‘Islamic terror'; basing himself on only two murder cases: in Paris, and in Copenhagen. He writes (translated):

So, there is a pattern.

One arranges to get a weapon.

One goes to a capital of a European country.

Dijkgraaf’s second and third sentences clearly fail to prove a ‘pattern of Islamic terrorism’. As both the perpetrators in France and in Denmark did not need to get weapons especially for ‘Islam’ (‘Islam’ as both fanatics like ISIS and Islamophobes see it; not the Islam of most Muslims all over the world). They already had histories of violent crime. Completely a-political, a-religious violent crime.

The New York Times writes about this:

The gunman, identified in Danish news reports as Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, appears to have shared some traits with at least two of the militants responsible for the Paris violence — notably a criminal record and an abrupt transition from street crime to Islamic militancy.

The Copenhagen police have not publicly identified the gunman, saying only that he was 22 years old, was born and raised in Denmark, and was known to law enforcement officers because of gang-related activity and several criminal offenses linked to weapons violations and violence.

So, now Dijkgraaf’s third sentence: ‘One goes to a capital of a European country.’

This gives an impression of evil barbarian outsiders traveling from far away lands to European capitals. But Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein did not need to travel to Copenhagen. He was born there. He was raised there. He lived there. He had Danish nationality.

DR2 Deadline (Danish TV) said that Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein was not known as a radical Muslim by his friends.

Why this sudden transition from a-political a-religious crime to (probably; not proven 100%) ‘religious’ crime?

We may never know. Danish police say they don’t know. Danish police shot Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein dead. He did not leave behind any message outlining his motives for his murders, as far as I know.

We may guess a bit more about another transition in Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein’s life: from non-criminal to non-religious criminal.

From Danish radio (translated):

By Emma Toft

Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein was born in Denmark in September 1992.

He grew up in the metropolitan area.

He is the child of Palestinian parents. They are now divorced. He has a younger brother. …

He has also completed the Higher Preparatory Examination [which, in theory, means he can be admitted by universities] – the last part of it while in prison with fine results.

According to his own statements, he has tried to be admitted to an IT course in college – without success.

Multiple convictions

He has repeatedly been convicted and held in prison for, among other things violence and violation of the Arms Act.

A probation psychological consultant said during the trial that he did not suffer from a serious mental illness. He was only suspected of drug use. But Omar El-Hussein himself said he was suffering from anxiety and felt paranoid.

The entire case was appealed to the High Court. Therefore, Omar El-Hussein was released January 30, 2015 – two weeks before the shooting attacks in Copenhagen.

More details have emerged regarding Hussein’s biography, confirming how well-known the gunman was to police. The head of Denmark’s secret service, PET, Jens Madsen, said that El-Hussein may have been “inspired by Islamist propaganda issued by Islamic State and other terror organisations.” Madsen did not offer evidence substantiating this allegation, however: here.

It now appears El-Hussein never received training from ISIS or Al Qaeda forces in the Middle East. His turn to terrorist activity was produced by conditions in Denmark and the depraved militarism of the major powers in the Middle East and Africa, in which the government in Copenhagen has taken full part: here.

Dijkgraaf uses the last paragraph of his column in Metro for claiming that the supposed ‘pattern of Muslim terror’ will show itself next in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He blames liberal opposition politician Alexander Pechtold, party leader of D66, for future murders in Amsterdam as Pechtold rejects Islamophobia. Dijkgraaf depicts Muslims in general as inherently ‘evil’, in order to avoid real causes of terrorism; like racism and ‘austerity’ economic policies. Pechtold is one of few politicians in the Dutch parliament with the courage to denounce the racism of politicians like Geert Wilders. Unfortunately, Pechtold, like Dijkgraaf and Wilders, supports ‘austerity’ economics which aggravate racism.

OVER 30,000 MOURN VICTIMS OF COPENHAGEN TERRORIST ATTACKS Authorities believe Omar Abdel Hamid el-Hussein acted alone when he killed two in separate shooting attacks in Denmark Saturday. Hussein was in turn killed by police fire. [WaPo]

From the New York Times in the USA:

COPENHAGEN — The attack on Copenhagen’s synagogue earlier this month that left a volunteer Jewish watchman dead is a tragedy for a society that, for more than two centuries, has insisted that there is no tension between being Jewish and being Danish. It was precisely this sense of national solidarity across religious lines that helped save Denmark’s Jews from the Nazis during World War II.

And that’s why it rubbed many Danes the wrong way when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu invited Danish Jews to “come home” to Israel after the attack. Even if Denmark’s Jews clearly face a new threat, this time from a small group of extremist Muslim Danes, Mr. Netanyahu seemed to be belittling the social unity that is so treasured by most Danes and denying both Denmark’s proven ability to protect its Jewish population — something that Danes are very proud of — and Danish Jews’ affinity for their country.

Oslo Muslims to form ‘peace ring’ around synagogue during Shabbat services: here.

Contrary to the gunman in Copenhagen, police did not kill the North Carolina murderer, but arrested him. So, we may know, and yet get to know, more about him than about his Danish colleague.

The New Yorker magazine in the USA writes about the Chapel Hill murderer:

Far more Americans are killed each year by the shooters in our midst like Craig Stephen Hicks than have ever been killed by all the jihadist terrorist outfits that have ever stalked this earth. That’s the price, or so the rhetoric goes, of our wild freedom. But maybe to understand the Chapel Hill murders better we need to imagine how it would be playing out if it were the other way around—if some gun-toting Muslim, with a habit of posting hate messages about secular humanists, took it upon himself to execute a defenseless family of them in their home.

Oh, why does a vigilante man,
Why does a vigilante man
Carry that sawed-off shotgun in his hand?
Would he shoot his brother and sister down?

The last four lines of this quote are a quote from a song by Woody Guthrie.

This is a music video of that song Vigilante Man – Woody Guthrie. The lyrics are here.

Craig Stephen Hicks calls himself a “patriotic American”. He said he is a member of the National Rifle Association, the right-wing lobby organisation which says there are not enough firearms yet in the USA. He is a ‘gun nut': police found thirteen firearms at Craig Stephen Hicks’ place.

Craig Stephen Hicks and his NRA strongly support the second amendment of the United States constitution. As they see it; not as politicians in 1789 saw it when they passed it. The second amendment links bearing arms to popularly controlled organized ‘well regulated militias’ to prevent in an organized way a tyrannical government in the USA, or an invasion by the British empire, then recently enemies in the American revolutionary war.

So, no ‘right to bear arms’, as interpreted by Hicks and other ‘vigilante men’ for shooting one’s brother or sister, as Woody Guthrie sang. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being African American. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being Muslim (or Sikh, or Hindu, but ‘looking like a Muslim’ to Islamophobes). No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being Jewish. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being from Latin America. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being LGBTQ. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being atheist. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being communist. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for being anarchist. No ‘right to bear arms’ for killing someone for having red hair.

In practice, in the USA today, there is not only the violence of Hicks and similar ‘vigilante men’. There is also, contrary to the wishes of the eighteenth century American revolutionaries, a standing army. The biggest standing army in the world. But that is another long story.

We petition the Obama administration to:Declare the Chapel Hill shooting of 3 innocent Muslim-American students a Terrorist Attack: here.

North Carolina killings reveal double standards when victims are Muslims: here.

Shoot up a crowd while white, you’re a “murderous misfit.” Do it with a “cultural motive,” you’re a terrorist: here.

The Chapel Hill executions were a hate crime committed by a white terrorist of the Fox News generation, writes RAMZY BAROUD: here.

Islamophobic network fuelling hate sentiments in US: Report – See more here.

THE DANGER OF RIGHT-WING SOVEREIGN CITIZEN EXTREMISTS “They’re carrying out sporadic terror attacks on police, have threatened attacks on government buildings and reject government authority. A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security earlier this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists, and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.” [CNN]

Murdered United States Muslims commemorated in Amsterdam


Commemoration for murdered Muslims in Amsterdam

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

Vigil on Dam square because of murder of three young Muslims in the USA

Today, 21:15

Three young Muslims killed in the USA this week have been commemorated on the Dam in Amsterdam. Around 19:00 between 100 and 200 people gathered. They carried posters with photographs of the three victims. They also had banners with texts like: stop the smear campaign against Muslims.

The participants of the memorial are angry about the lack of attention in the Dutch media for the murders. They are amazed that the 46-year-old man who shot and killed the Muslims is not called a terrorist.

US President Barack Obama has condemned the murder of the three Muslim students in the state of North Carolina. He called the murder cruel and atrocious. “Nobody in the US should be the target for what they are, how they look, or what religion they profess”, Obama said in a statement.

Last Wednesday, the two women of 19 and 23 years old and a 21-year-old man were shot dead in an apartment at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Chapel Hill shooting suspect Craig Hicks had at least a dozen guns at his home, police say: here.

Hundreds in Qatar protest North Carolina ‘terrorist act': here.

The killing of three Muslim-American college students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina has sparked an outpouring of anger and sympathy across the US and around the world, as police continue to investigate whether religious or ethnic hatred was a motive in the shootings. A crowd of more than 5,000 people gathered in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday for the funerals of the three youths: here.

Chapel Hill victim’s sister: American Sniper ‘dehumanizes’ Muslims: here.

Texas, USA: Fire destroys Islamic centre building in Houston in suspected arson attack and hate crime: here.

Muslims murdered in the USA, BBC silent


This video from London, England issays about itself:

#MuslimLivesMatter: BBC and Sky slammed for ‘bias coverage’ at London rally

12 February 2015

Protesters gathered in central London Thursday to decry the lack of media coverage over the purportedly religiously-motivated murder of three Muslims in North Carolina on Wednesday.

The demonstrators carried banners bearing messages including ‘BBC, shame on you’ and ‘My faith does not incriminate me.’

The group singled out the government run broadcasting company, as well as Sky News, for what they consider to be the demonisation of Islam and the playing down of hate crimes against Muslims.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

BBC faces demo over shootings coverage

Friday 13th February 2015

ANTI-RACISM campaigners joined members of Muslim communities last night to stage a protest outside the BBC in London against what they claim is the corporation’s silence over the shootings of three Muslim students in the US.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were shot dead near the university campus in North Carolina on Wednesday.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder over the killings.

Initial reports appeared to suggest the triple shooting was the result of a dispute over parking spaces but the victims’ families and local Muslim community leaders are calling for the murders to be recognised as a hate crime.

The protesters argue that in stark contrast to the recent Paris shootings there was no immediate coverage of the killings, which were not headline news or covered in the BBC’s main news bulletins.

North Carolina murders and Dutch media: here.

Islamophobia and murder in the USA


This video from the USA is called 3 Members Of Muslim Family Murdered In Chapel Hill, Sparking #MuslimLivesMatter Campaign.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Chapel Hill shooting: American Sniper ‘behind rise in Islamophobia in US’, says leading Arab advocate

Deaths in North Carolina have seen resurgence in #MuslimLivesMatter campaign

Adam Withnall

Thursday 12 February 2015

One of the leading advocates for Arab-Americans has hit out at the lack of coverage received by the killing of three young Muslims in North Carolina, describing it as symptomatic of an American Sniper-inspired rise in Islamophobia.

Abed Ayoub, the legal director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), said the film industry, US government and right-wing political commentators all had a role to play in the recent surge in anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where these three students were murdered, is also where prominent fundamentalist Christian Islamophobic ideologist Robert Spencer is from. Spencer studied Christian theology; not Islam, where he nevertheless claims to be in expert in. The British Conservative government banned Spencer from entering the United Kingdom for his hatemongering. Spencer was one of the sources of inspiration for Norwegian Islamophobic mass murderer and self-styled ‘conservative Christian’ Anders Behring Breivik.

On Tuesday night, Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were shot dead in their home in Chapel Hill near the University of North Carolina (UDC). A 46-year-old man who handed himself in shortly after the attack, Craig Stephen Hicks, has been charged with three counts of murder.

When asked if the reaction would have been different if the victims had not been Muslims, Mr Ayoub told The Independent: “Absolutely 100 per cent this would have been covered differently if the roles were reversed.

“This country needs to realise that acts of terrorism are not confined to a single religion or ethnicity,” he said. “This [Islamophobia] is something that needs to stop and we would like the media to pay more attention and cover this more to show the impact of hate crime and hate speech.”

Speaking about the rise of anti-Arab sentiment in the US since the controversy surrounding the Ground Zero mosque

not a mosque; and not visible from Ground Zero

in 2010, Mr Ayoub called the release of American Sniper “the turning point”.

“It may not be directly linked to the film, but the overall way that Islamophobia and anti-Arab sentiment are moving in this country is portrayed in the words of those who watched American Sniper.

“The film gave us a look into how these individuals were feeling and for the first time we were getting raw, real messages – and they were frightening.”

The ADC was founded in 1980 by the first US Senator of Arab origin, James Abourezk, and is the largest organisation representing the civil rights of Arab-Americans in the US.

And Mr Ayoub called on President Barack Obama to offer his condolences to the families involved, and said the government’s policy of only inviting Muslims to its Combatting Violent Extremism forums as an example of where it “needs to change”.

Read more: Three young Muslims gunned down in North Carolina

Suspect condemned all religions in anti-theistic Facebook posts

How news of the shootings spread around the world

“There are key individuals who could tone down the Islamophobic rhetoric,” he said. “You have people on the extreme right that just push that Islam is an evil religion and Muslims and Arabs are these evil people.

“They could take action and tone that down a little bit – you are entitled to your opinion but don’t attack the community and don’t paint us with a broad brush,” Mr Ayoub said.

The killings have prompted a resurgence in the use of the #MuslimLivesMatter social media campaign – and that’s a phrase that was used by the mayor of Chapel Hill in the aftermath of the shooting.

Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt said: “I share strong feelings of outrage and shock with my fellow citizens and University students – as well as concerned people everywhere. We do not know whether anti-Muslim bias played a role in this crime, but I do recognize the fear that members of our community may feel. Chapel Hill is a place for everyone, a place where Muslim lives matter.”

FBI OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO CHAPEL HILL DEATHS AS THOUSANDS MOURN “Thousands of mourners attended the funeral prayers on Thursday for three young Muslims killed in North Carolina, and the father of two of the victims urged U.S. authorities to probe whether religious hatred was a motive for the murders.” Prayer vigils for the three have taken place across the country. [Reuters]

Muslim students murdered in North Carolina, USA


Muslim students murdered in North Carolina, USA, from left, Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (Facebook)

By Michelle Goldberg in the USA:

The Most Common Type of American Terrorist Is a White Man With a Weapon and a Grudge

February 11, 2015 – 12:01 PM ET

Yesterday, an outspoken white atheist murdered three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. We don’t yet know for sure whether this was a hate crime or whether the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, had some other motivation; police have said the crime may have grown out of a dispute over parking. We do know that had Hicks been a Muslim and his victims atheists, few would be waiting for all the facts to come in before declaring him a terrorist. We know that there would be the usual calls for other Muslims to condemn the killings, coupled with the usual failure to take note of the many Muslims who did. And we know that demands for Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins to distance themselves from Hicks are largely facetious, because no one really blames them. Violence perpetrated by Muslims is almost always seen as part of a global conspiracy, whereas white men like Hicks are usually seen as isolated psychopaths.

There is, of course, some truth there. An organized jihadist movement exists; an organized cadre of terroristic atheists does not. Yet in the United States, Islamophobia has been a consistent motivator of violence.

Here, Ms Goldberg should have mentioned that most Islamophobia, and Islamophobic violernce, in the USA is not by atheists (if it is, it is by strangely ‘selective’ atheists), but by extreme right Christians (who should not be conflated with Christians in general). There is indeed no ‘organized cadre of terroristic atheists’ in the USA; but there are organized extreme right Christian terrorists (‘Christian Identity‘, ‘Hutaree‘, ‘Army of God‘, Ku Klux Klan).

Hicks’ killing of Yusor Mohammad, her husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, should not be treated like a man-bites-dog story, a reversal of the usual pattern of terrorism. After all, Muslims in the United States are more often the victims of ideological violence than the perpetrators of it.

According to the latest FBI statistics, there were more than 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2013. Mosques and Islamic centers have been firebombed and vandalized; seven mosques were attacked during Ramadan alone in 2012. Several Muslims, or people thought to be Muslim, have been murdered or viciously attacked. In 2010, a white college student and self-described patriot tried to slash the throat of Bangladeshi cab driver Ahmed Sharif. The white supremacist who slaughtered 6 people in a Sikh temple in 2012 may have thought he was targeting Muslims. So, apparently, did Erika Menendez, the … New Yorker who pushed a [Hindu] man named Sunando Sen in front of a subway train that same year.

In most cases, the perpetrators have been disaffected, disaffiliated losers rather than part of any movement, but they’ve picked up broader currents of hatred and conspiracy theorizing. (The same can be said of some lone-wolf Muslim terrorists like Man Haron Monis, the fraudster and criminal who took hostages in Sydney last year, or the Tsarnaev brothers, who bombed the Boston marathon in 2013.) We don’t yet know if Hicks was driven by lonely fanaticism, but if he was, he’s not as much of an anomaly as he might at first appear. Explicitly atheist violence is unusual, but Hicks still fits the profile of the most common type of American terrorist: a white man with a weapon and a grudge.

See also here.

About one of the victims of this horrible crime, from British daily The Independent:

He regularly posted on Twitter, and wrote in January: “It’s so freaking sad to hear people saying we should ‘kill Jews’ or ‘kill Palestinians’. As if that’s going to solve anything.”

CHAPEL HILL — The father of two of three students shot to death in Chapel Hill on Tuesday says the shooting was a “hate crime” based on the Muslim identity of the victims: here.

OUTRAGE FOLLOWING CHAPEL HILL SHOOTINGS “A simmering dispute over parking may have provoked Tuesday’s triple homicide in a North Carolina college town, authorities said. But police in Chapel Hill said they had no inkling of the animosity among neighbors until the violence. Police have charged Craig Hicks, 46, with three counts of first-degree murder in the shootings of Muslim students Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; Barakat’s wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19.” Worldwide social media outrage has resulted in the viral hashtag, #MuslimLivesMatter, and prayer vigils are planned across the country. [HuffPost]