It will be interesting to see how media coverage of yesterday’s unfortunate event in North Carolina develops. Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, an Iranian-born man raised in Charlotte, drove an SUV into a crowd of students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. No one was killed and a handful were injured. The local ABC affiliate explains:
The driver of an SUV that plowed into a group of pedestrians at UNC-Chapel Hill on Friday told police it was retribution for the treatment of Muslims around the world, sources tell Eyewitness News and ABC News . . .
A law enforcement source tells Eyewitness News that Taheri-azar had been plotting the attack for some time and was prepared to die. Sources think he acted alone.
It’s great that Taheri-azar, who graduated in December, was such a bad driver. Anyway, this happened yesterday afternoon and I am surprised at how little coverage it has received thus far. The foreign press and local papers all over the country have stories, but I didn’t find anything in the New York Times this morning.
The Muslim student group on campus has already spoken out against Taheri-azar’s actions. When people claim religious motivations for their behavior, it invites a certain scrutiny. This would be another great hook for reporters looking to explore different interpretations of Islam. I bet readers, at least, would love to learn more about what motivates some Muslims to violence.