Originally published in The Baltimore Sun
Recently, three Muslim youth were murdered in North Carolina by an extremist atheist (“Police investigate hate crime theory after 3 slain in N.C.,” Feb. 12). But I won’t ever read about this in the mainstream media due to a troubling double standard.
Whenever a Muslim murders someone, the media immediately associates his faith, and all Muslims, with his crime. However, whenever a non-Muslim murders someone, it is first speculated whether he is mentally deranged and the courtesy of the benefit of the doubt is extended.
Apparently, it doesn’t matter that the murderer has extremist views about his belief on his Facebook page or that people testify to witnessing those views. This double standard has turned the minds of many Americans against Muslims and Islam.
Hate crimes against Muslims have been on the rise in recent years, and Islamophobes have taken bolder steps against Muslims. Recently, Franklin Graham forced Duke University to disallow the Muslim call to prayer on Friday stating that Muslims are raping, butchering and beheading those who don’t submit to Sharia.
The movie American Sniper, regardless of its intentions, showed Arabs and Muslims as extremists or victims of extremism, which led to many hateful messages against Muslims on social media.
My deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victims. They were regular contributors to their communities with promising futures; two were just married and one was raising money for Syrian refugees. Their deaths should not be trivialized.