According to media reports, three American Muslim college students: Deah Shaddy Barakat , a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, were all found shot to death in a condo near the campus yesterday evening. Craig Stephen Hicks, who self identifies as an "anti-theist," surrendered to police and has been charged with first-degree murder.
Law enforcement as of yet, have initially commented that a parking dispute may have sparked the shooting, but investigation is still ongoing. Hicks' Facebook account did show however, that he was anti-religion and posted several links about atheism. The father of two of the victims also believes that their murder was because of their religion and culture.
- Killing of Three in Chapel Hill stirs alarm among Muslims(Washington Post)
- Who is Craig Hicks? Chapel Hill Man Arrested for Killing Three Muslims, Posted Anti-Religion Views Online (International Business Times)
- Victims' father says Chapel Hill triple homicide was 'hate crime.'(Charlotte Observer )
"Although the police have initially commented that a parking dispute may have been a factor to the shooting, we fear that this may be also a hate-motivated act based on the suspect's anti-religion posts on social media and the viciousness of the crime itself. We are concerned that the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in our society may have encouraged some to commit violence against American Muslims. We urge law enforcement to investigate this case as a possible hate crime, " said ISNA President Azhar Azeez. "Our heartfelt condolences go to the families and loved ones of the victims."