by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Ever since, many Muslims, in the United States and elsewhere, have insisted that their killer, Craig Stephen Hicks, was motivated by anti-Muslim animus and that to suggest otherwise is to diminish what is undoubtedly a grave crime. Yet it appears that Hicks behaved in a hostile and threatening manner to neighbors of all persuasions, and his angry Facebook rants suggest that he reserved his deepest hatred for Christian fundamentalists. …
… Muslims do encounter discrimination in America. It just so happens that they don’t often face religiously motivated hate crimes. The FBI reports that Jews are far more frequent targets of religiously motivated hate crimes than Muslims are. One of the things that make me most uncomfortable about the response to the Chapel Hill shooting is the effort to take a unique set of circumstances and force it into a larger narrative that doesn’t necessarily fit. It’s possible that Craig Stephen Hicks was not a crazed Islamophobe and that hatred and suspicion of Muslims are a real problem. To the extent that this hatred and suspicion exist, however, there is good reason to believe that it is fading.