The Significance of Naming a Hate Crime

The murder of three young, gifted students in Chapel Hill Tuesday evening has generated a local, national, and international outpouring of grief and outrage. Deah Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, were shot dead in the Finley Forest condominium where newlyweds Deah and Yusor lived. A neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, fled the area after the shooting, but later turned himself into law enforcement officers. Hicks is charged with first degree murder in their deaths, and is being held without bond in Raleigh’s Central Prison. Police say that the killings were motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute about, of all things, parking. Nevertheless, many, including Yusor and Razan’s father, suspect it also may have been motivated by the fact that the three were Muslims. Yusor regularly wore a headscarf—an outward manifestation of her faith.

Read more