Originally published in Akron Beacon Journal
The recent shooting at Chapel Hill, N.C., shows me, as an American Muslim, that whenever a tragedy happens unnecessarily to any person of any faith or way of life, we should pray for them and extend our condolences.
The alleged shooter was an outspoken anti-theist. Craig Hicks’ Facebook page was filled with hatred toward religion.
Although we hear that the motive is not still completely clear, it is no secret that Muslim perpetrators are almost always identified by their religion in headlines, implying religious motives.
After this incident, however, I don’t assume that all atheists are anti-religious murderers. I’m not pressuring moderate atheists to condemn the attack and hold marches and rallies.
What I am asking is that the public and media extend the same courtesy toward Muslims, and see the terrorists who commit acts in Islam’s name as separate and extremist individuals.
The double standard must begin to disintegrate, or the anti-Islamic rhetoric will continue to rise, causing unnecessary hatred for the 12 million innocent Muslims living in America.