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Friday, February 20, 2015

Parking Space Terrorism

Parking Space Terrorism

By Ramzy Baroud
Axis of Logic
Feb 20, 2015

The murder of three American Muslims at a University of North
Carolina condominium on Tuesday, 10 February, was no ordinary
murder, nor is the criminal who killed them an ordinary thug.

The context of the killings, the murder itself and the media and
official responses to the horrific event is a testimony to everything
that went wrong since the United States unleashed it’s long-drawn-
out “war on terror”, with its undeclared, but sometimes declared
enemy, namely Islam and Muslims.

Horrific as it was, the killing of a husband and wife, Deah Shaddy
Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, by
homegrown terrorist, Craig Stephen Hicks, is the kind of violence
that can only fit into a greater media and official narrative,
which designates millions of innocent Muslims, in the US or across
the world as enemies or potential terrorists.

Countless television hours and endless space in numerous media
has been dedicated to vilify and demonize Muslims throughout
recent years.

Muslims’ attempts to distance themselves from every militant
grouping, ideology and tendency has done them no good.

A Muslim is a terrorism suspect until proven innocent, especially
if a bearded, brown man, or a headscarf-clad woman.

The end result of that dehumanization has been racism,
racial profiling, extra-judicial killings and war.

It was only a matter of time before that violence reached
the nominally safe Muslim communities in the US itself.

The episode of dehumanization is long, complex and protracted;
also, quite clever, for it involves billion-dollar media outfits and
Hollywood itself, which already has an awful track record regarding
negative and stereotypical representation of Arabs and Muslims.

The outcome is a whole industry that is predicated
on double standards and half-truths.

The ongoing enthusiasm for more military interventions means
that supposed “moral awakening” inspired by the advent of
President Barack Obama rarely registered in the collective
psyche of the nation.

While there is ample evidence that Americans are “tired” of war,
that very war fatigue should not be conflated with a departure
of the type of dialectics that rationalized war in the first place.

In fact, while the cheerleaders for war might change political
camps, ideology or even religious philosophy, ultimately, they
are the same breed of people: a mostly white, male dominated
and chauvinistic tribe of well-funded politicians and media
pundits, with an unquenchable thirst for “intervention”.

Hicks, the terrorist who killed the three young Muslims, subscribes
to a school of thought known as New Atheism, what religious
scholar Reza Aslan refers to as the school of “anti-theism”.

It is, in part, another hate-filled platform, and despite its supposed
disdain for all religions, their malicious energy mostly targets
Muslims.

They, of course, are different from the majority of atheists,
who don’t use that designation to foment hate against a
specific religious group.

The anti-theist idols include the likes of Richard Dawkins and
Sam Harris, who, according to Aslan, respond “to religion with
the same venomous ire with which religious fundamentalists
respond to atheism”.

In one of his Facebook posts, Hicks, a lover of guns, quoted
Dawkins:

“The last vestige of respect for the taboo disappeared as
I watched the ‘Day of Prayer’ in Washington Cathedral,
where people of mutually incompatible faiths united in
homage to the very force that caused the problem in the
first place: religion.”

But of course, not any religion, but Islam.

Let alone that such ignorant breed pay no heed to any relevant
political context, they so foolishly blame a whole religion for
what is essentially a political conflict.

Did they ever pause to wonder if it might be possible that invading
countries, killing, raping, pillaging, destroying mosques and
churches, and urinating on the dead, have something to do with
why many Muslims hate US foreign policy and are willing to use
violence in response?

Hicks too hated the three Muslim kids based on that same foolish,
murderous logic.

But hating Muslims is not your everyday racism and prejudice,
which has been “as American as apple pie and Napalm” (a funny,
sad line from the American comedy, M.A.S.H).

It is a readily available fodder for the ongoing war and future war
in Muslim countries. It is the required amount of dehumanization
needed to wage war.

This is why Islam and Muslims are equated with terrorism, and
why terrorism is used almost exclusively to describe violent acts
committed or allegedly committed by Muslims.

The same champions of this invalid logic are those who
constantly push the line:

"All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims."

The assumption might be inane, but the intention is anything but.

It absolves the war criminals, who planned, executed and justified
the war; the soldiers who did the fighting, and those who ensured
that there can be no legal accountability for its numerous awful
deeds – millions being killed, maimed and all.

Instead, it puts the onus on ordinary Muslims who are set up to
prove their innocence to no avail, to absolve themselves from a
crime they never committed, in fact, to answer for someone else’s
crimes.

But Hicks, who walked into the flat of three students in Chapel Hill,
NC and shot them, execution style, was not a Muslim.

He comes from Christian heritage.

He is not black or brown, but white.

His name is not Ahmed, but Craig.

That changes everything.

Neither the police nor the media would describe his crime as a
hate crime, let alone terrorism, although his terrorism is unique
in a way.

His type resides on the top of the food chain in terms of race, gender and other criteria.

Yet, somehow he is politically frustrated.

Go figure.

He is not a member of a radicalized generation born into
oppression, foreign invasion, poverty and other untold humiliation.

If that was the case, one can, at least to a degree fathom the hate,
deconstruct the anger, or even rationalize that violence is a natural
outcome of a certain reality.

Hicks is of the Fox News demographic, gun touting unreasonably
and immeasurably angry, white American.

Self-proclaimed atheist or otherwise, it matters little.

So Hicks, we are told, killed the students “execution style”
because of a dispute over parking spaces.

The same way that Chris Kyle – “The American Sniper” - made 164
confirmed “kills” in Iraq, targeting “savages” because that’s what
national heroes do.

And US wars and sanctions on Iraq killed, starved and wounded
millions to bring democracy to the Arabs.

This selectively insane logic will persist however, because there
are millions of unrepentant politicians, extremist media pundits
and well-armed men and women who refuse to see the recklessness
of their “logic”.

They will continue to feed violence - which unlike what Hicks is
led to believe - didn’t start on 11 September 2001 - and spit out
the most dangerous of militant phenomena: al-Qaeda, IS and all
the rest.

It is time for Muslims to demand that Obama issue more than a
statement, but call the United States government and hate-filled
media to account.

These outrageous double standards must end, before more innocent
lives are taken.



Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist, a
media consultant, author of several books and the founder
of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was
a Freedom Fighter: Gaza’s Untold Story

http://axisoflogic.com/artman/publish/Article_69422.shtml

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