An Anti-Muslim Hate Crime

by Jonah Goldberg

I’m a frequent critic of claims that there is — or has been — a major anti-Muslim backlash in the United States. All the more reason I should acknowledge and condemn anti-Muslim hate crimes when they do in fact occur. That appears to be what happened in North Carolina, and it’s just awful.

Three young members of a Muslim family were killed by a gunman Tuesday afternoon in their home near the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus.

A suspect, Craig Stephen Hicks, a 46-year-old self-professed atheist who recently expressed opinions online about violence in the Middle East, surrendered to police and was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. Found dead were husband and wife Deah Barakat, 23, and Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, as well as Yusor’s sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19. All three were shot “execution style,” The Independent reported.

Barakat, a Syrian-American, is a doctoral student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry, according to the Charlotte News and Observer. His wife and her sister attend North Carolina State.

The fact that the apparent murderer was a passionate atheist is no doubt inconvenient for some looking to have this story fit a certain narrative. But there’s time for all that later. As it stands, it sounds to me like this Hicks guy should get the death penalty, whatever his motivation.

The Corner

The one and only.