It was pretty heartbreaking to wake up to the news that three Muslim students had been murdered in their apartment. Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with the deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and Mohammad’s sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha. The police believe Hicks killed the students over a parking dispute, but obviously there’s more to the case, since Hicks is an atheist and the victims were Muslim. Police are now looking into whether the killings are hate crimes. The jury of public opinion state that it’s unequivocal that discrimination against Muslims was in play.

Twitter has responded to the murders with two hashtags, #ChapelHillShooting and #MuslimLivesMatter, based on the popular #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. Here are some of the most gripping tweets about the tragedy.

It seems clear to me as well that this is a hate crime. For the case to be dismissed as just a crime of passion over a parking issue is not really giving the situation the gravity its due.

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Nihad Awad, CAIR National Executive Director, said in a statement, “Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religoius statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case.” I’d hope  the police do investigate every corner of this case, since, according to the sisters’ father, Mohammad Abu Salha, the murders were done “execution style” and that his daughter had complained to him of Hicks threatening them before.

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This is truly sad and unfortunate. Prayers and well-wishes go to the families of the victims.

Photo credit: Rezann/Twitter

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