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Reader's View: Chapel Hill shootings were a hate crime

On Feb. 10, three Muslim students, including two sisters who wore Hijab, were killed near their home in Chapel Hill, N.C. According to police, they were shot by their neighbor, Craig Hicks, over a parking dispute. However, it appears to me to hav...

On Feb. 10, three Muslim students, including two sisters who wore Hijab, were killed near their home in Chapel Hill, N.C. According to police, they were shot by their neighbor, Craig Hicks, over a parking dispute. However, it appears to me to have been more of a hate crime. Why? Being an outspoken anti-theist, Hicks expressed support for militant atheist and anti-Islam groups on his Facebook page. A week before the killing, the younger sister complained to her family about her “hateful neighbor.”
The older sister and her husband also complained about Hicks, saying he talked to them with a gun in his belt, making them uncomfortable. This suggests to me that Hicks harbored hate for religion in general and Islam in particular. So when he saw an opportunity, he used a parking dispute as an excuse to spill it all out.
As a Muslim girl who wears the hijab, I realize I may come across such hatemongers as I grow up. But I also believe that the peaceful and loving people in this world outnumber them by a large margin. This thought comforts me and makes me fearless of parking in the wrong spot when I learn to drive, despite my hijab.
Shanze Hayee
Duluth
The writer is in the seventh grade at Ordean East Middle School.

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