So do we have our first New Atheist-motivated sectarian killing? According to Zaid Jilani of Alternet (@zaidjilani)– Yusor Mohammad as well as her sister Razan Abu-Salha – were brutally murdered, with execution-style shots to the head. The same day, a self-identified Bill Maher, New Atheist fan, Craig S. Hicks, was arrested and charged with three counts of murder.
And if you are an atheist and angry that your good movement is being dragged into the blame game about this killing– now you know how religious people feel every time some religious person kills in the name of God and the story breaks blaming religion for all the evils in the world before all the evidence is in.
No national media outlet reported the story, provoking the hashtag #ChapelHillShooting, which soon trended worldwide. Finally, after midnight, Buzzfeed became the first national outlet to report on the killings.
Craig Hicks has been identified as a 46-year-old North Carolina man, and as of this writing, his apparent Facebook page is still up. Perusing the page reveals the fact that Hicks was both a fervent New Atheist – his page is littered with references to Bill Maher and disdain for religious belief – and a gun enthusiast.
Here he is showing off a pistol he owned last month:
Here he is quoting Richard Dawkins about how 9/11 made him hate religion:
And here he is proclaiming his fears of gun control:
Also, an apparent Amazon wishlist for “Craig Hicks” shows off a variety of armaments, including sniper scopes and a ghillie suit – a kind of camouflage suit.
Although the students appear to have been targeted for their religion, police officials are saying that the motive for the shooting has yet to be determined.
Here are some other offerings from Hicks’ his apparent Facebook page is still up as I posted this :
As the Muslim community in the area mourns, they’ve set up the Facebook page “Our Three Winners” to commemorate the lives of the three young souls taken from them far too soon.