This week the DDP Editor’s circle mourns the deaths of Razzan Mohammad Abu-Salha, Yusor Mohammad, and Deah Shaddy Barakat, who were shot by a white man who likely identifies as atheist. Although the man claims to have murdered his victims over a parking dispute, it is achingly clear from the two women’s father’s accounts of the harassment that his daughter received previously from this man that this was a hate crime.
It is a sobering reminder that, as Bridie Marie wrote on Monday, violent people do not wear name tags identifying themselves. There may be a pattern of harassment leading up to violence, as occurred in the horrifying violence this week. Yet when it comes to the identify of the person committing that harassment and violence, despite what society likes to tell us, and even what we may like to tell ourselves, people who murder others do not come in any one color, religion or lack thereof, or political orientation. We must continue to be vigilant in combating Islamophobia where and when we see it, especially in its more subtle manifestations, which together create a culture that condones this kind of violence against Muslims. It is achingly clear that we are well past the point of a growing progression toward a culture of hatred toward Muslim Americans and Muslims around the world solely because of their ethnicity and religion. The time to address this is now.
To our Muslim readers, we are thinking of you. You have our support during this painful time, and we pledge to work harder to fight this animosity against you. We encourage all of our readers to join the Facebook group “Our Three Winners” to show the victims’ families that we honor their children and siblings’ memories.
Please take a moment to bear witness to the lives of Razzan, Yusor, and Deah through this photo-essay in the link below.