Monday, February 16, 2015
Why Muslim lives don't matter
In Chapel Hill shootings, Muslim identity eclipsed the three victims' American-ness.
Nadia El-Zein Tonova and Khaled A Beydoun Al Jazeera February 12, 2015
An Arab and Muslim culprit and white victims would have spurred immediate media attention.
Muslims identity trumped, and very likely for Hicks, eclipsed the three victims' American-ness.
Irrespective of what rallying cries, signs or adapted hashtags proclaim, Muslim lives in America don't matter. The aftermath of the murder of the three American students in Chapel Hill, and the broader context that spurred it, reconfirms this brutal truth.
The three victims - Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were killed at approximately 5:11pm on Tuesday. The identity of the killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, was revealed roughly seven hours later.
Despite the release of these facts, and probative evidence that the executions were likely a hate crime, national media outlets remained silent. History affirms that a reversal of racial and religious identities - an Arab and Muslim culprit and white victims - would have spurred immediate media attention, on a national and global scale. However, given that Barakat and the Abu-Salha sisters were Arab and Muslim, the media lagged to cover the story.
In addition to media devaluation of Muslim lives, state-sponsored government policies targeting Muslim Americans affirm the conflation of Muslim identity with a terrorist threat. Institutional policy, in the form of state surveillance, profiling and counter-radicalisations programming, tie Muslim identity to suspicion and subversion, which emboldens the hate-fuelled violence inflicted by private citizens, like Hicks……….
Neither citizenship nor conventional measures of American achievements insulated the victims from hate. They were Muslims. That marker mattered most. Muslim identity trumped, and very likely for Hicks, eclipsed the three victims' American-ness.
Their religion mattered most for US media outlets as well, who lagged to cover the story ... leaving Muslims to wonder: if the victims were white and non-Muslims, and the culprit Muslim, would mainstream media outlets be so slow to respond and report?
Their religion mattered most for US media outlets as well, who lagged to cover the story……….
Read more http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/02/muslim-lives-don-matter-150212052018920.html