An open letter in reference to the shooting of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Raleigh, N.C. resident Razan Abu-Salha Tuesday evening.
To Whom It May Concern:
The events of Tuesday evening are a tragic scar on our state, and an event that necessitates investigation and concern. Three young Muslims were attacked and killed at the University of North Carolina, and the media is reporting that it was over a parking spot. While mainstream media has followed their history of not covering things to their fullest extent, social media has taken to using the hashtag “#MuslimLivesMatters”, a direct reflection of the continuing advocacy sparked by the events in Ferguson.
As a BSW student and President of the Social Work Student Organization at UNC-Greensboro, my heart goes out to the communities impacted by this situation, the families of the murdered, and our sister school in Chapel Hill. This egregious attack deserves the attention of investigation teams, where thorough and complete assessments will determine what the motivations are. While speculation doesn’t promote healthy solutions, there are many reasons to consider that the events are motivated by more than just a parking spot.
There are too many considerations being ignored. With the recent executions made by the Islamic extremist group ISIS/ISIL, we have all felt deep loss of our fellow Americans. This would not be the first incident of sympathetic retaliation. We are living in a time where civil rights issues, cultural/religious intolerance, and the racial divide is more apparent than it has been since the Civil Rights movements of the sixties. This cannot be our way of life; we cannot sit content with this.
As Social Workers we are always encouraged and engaged with the concepts of innate human dignity and worth. No person deserves to lose their life, and no reason is justification for the murder or harming of people. Whether this was about a parking spot or whether, as some fear, there are bigger motivations, this has to be investigated and light must be shed on the situation. If this goes untried, untested, then it will be a flagrant crime against humanity. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
UNCG BSW Social Work Student Organization President 2014/15