November , 2018

Email This Post Email This Post

#muslimlivesmatter: Chapel Hill Shooting and the Mainstream Media

Arab American Media, Editorial, Staff

It took the mainstream media an entire day to report on a possible hate crime that claimed the lives of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, of Chapel Hill; his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, of Chapel Hill; and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, of Raleigh, were all shot dead on Tuesday before their suspected killer turned himself in at 5 p.m.

They were all students who dedicated their lives to education and raised funds to help Syrian refugees.

The suspect is a 46-year-old white male.

The story was reported by local media and circulated on the web, sparking outrage about the lack of national coverage. Soon after, the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter emerged on Twitter and Facebook.

Despite news of the crime spreading rapidly on the Internet, major U.S. media outlets did not report on the triple-murder until the next morning. British Newspaper the Independent posted a story about the incident five hours before such prestigious U.S. newspapers as the New York Times and Washington Post.

While the Independent identified the victims as Muslim in the headline, the New York Times’ headline read, “Man charged in death of 3 near University of North Carolina.”

The Times disregarded the possible motives or the identity of the victims. It was like headlining the Boston Marathon terrorist attack story, “Man charged in the death of 3 in downtown Boston.”

Unfortunately, the national mainstream media’s apathy about the murder of the students shows that Muslim lives do not matter to the establishment.

The victims’ significance is defined by their identity and national origin in this country.

If it had been a 46-year-old Arab pulling the trigger on three young white folks, the media would have hosted ex-military officials minutes after the incident to discuss which countries our government shall bomb next as a response.

As Arabs and Muslims, our faith and ethnicity only become a factor if we do something evil. However, when evil is inflicted upon us, we are overlooked.

When three Muslims are victims of murder, in the headline of the New York Times they are merely “3.”
We urge our community members to keep the lost lives of the three innocent students in the national consciousness by continuing to condemn the crime on social media and in their daily lives. We cannot count on the mainstream media to honor the memory of the three victims, but we will on our own.

Deah Barakat was a medical student. In a video that has circulated on the Internet after the crime, he urges people to donate to a medical mission that would allow him to travel to Turkey and tend to the dental needs of Syrian refugees there.

This is the kind of spirit our victims had. We owe them attention.

Our government owes them justice.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

Recent Posts