Chapel Hill: Will We Know Why?

The team of shares their hearts in suffering with the family, friends, and loved ones of the three young and innocent Muslims killed on Tuesday, February, 10th, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his newly-wed wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, had their bright futures taken away from them as they were gunned down in their home by a neighbor, Craig Hicks.

The exact motive for this crime is disputed. Initial police claims of it being over an ongoing parking dispute seem incredible against the overwhelming public reaction which sees the three victims’ Muslim identity and the accused’s self-avowed atheism as playing a tragically important role. Even US President Barack Obama addressed these feelings in his statement on the issue when he said, ‘No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship’.

We urge the police and courts to carry out the demands of justice with regard to the law. However let us remain aware that the results of these proceedings may never wholly satisfy our deep need to know why. We urge sincere reflection on the larger societal forces beyond legal definition that could lead to such a terrible incident, which at its most basic is a story of a neighbor killing neighbors. However let us remain aware that in times of pain, it is all too easy to let our emotions fill in causes with our own prejudices and pre-conceived ideas. This might have been the case for Craig Hicks, who tried to explain away his own pain by blaming religion.

In the end, let us look once more at the example of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), an orphan who throughout his life lost wives, children, grand-children, relatives and friends, yet at each moment of mourning, at each point of searching, never lost faith that the most ultimate of reasons lies in Allah, whose name is the Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate. 



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