UNC Isn’t Charlie Hebdo, and Thomas Paine Isn’t Osama Bin Laden

The tragic shooting of three young university students at UNC Chapel Hill yesterday could have been adopted by the media as yet another indictment of the rampant gun culture in the United States. After all, the alleged killer had previously posted a photograph of his .38-caliber revolver on this Facebook page, and apparently had been harassing the young family in question for some time while wearing a gun on his belt.

Instead however, much more attention has been paid to the fact that on the same Facebook page, Stephen Hicks had expressed support for atheism and the three victims were all Muslims.
It is perhaps natural, in spite of the fact that all evidence currently points to a much more mundane cause of the shootings — disputes over parking spaces — for many in Muslim communities around the world, particularly sensitive to back reactions to the terrorist shootings in Paris, to jump to the conclusion that this was a hate crime.

What is more surprising is the connection being suggested, even in various relatively liberal papers and magazines including the Washington Post and the New Republic, between atheism’s most vocal advocates and this violence. It may be impossible to ever know —> Read More Here


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