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US media slated over 3 slain Muslims

13 February 2015 9:21

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The US media outlets have been criticized for failing to fully cover the murder of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Tuesday.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were killed after a gunman shot them in the head in an apartment near the University of North Carolina.

Abed Ayoub, the legal director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), has described the media coverage as muted or altered based on the victims’ religion.

Ayoub said US media reaction would have been completely different if the perpetrators, rather than the victims, had been Muslims. “Absolutely 100 per cent this would have been covered differently if the roles were reversed.”

He also said the US government, film industry and right-wing analysts should be accountable for the recent rise in Islamophobia.

“This country needs to realize that acts of terrorism are not confined to a single religion or ethnicity,” Ayoub told The Independent. “This [Islamophobia] is something that needs to stop and we would like the media to pay more attention and cover this more to show the impact of hate crime and hate speech.”

The students’ families say they were killed for their religion rather than being simply targeted by a criminal.

Suzanne Barakat, Deah’s sister, demanded Wednesday that authorities “investigate these senseless and heinous murders as a hate crime,” adding that they were “execution-style murders.”

The father of the two female students has also demanded that investigators treat the killing as a “hate crime.”

In addition, thousands of people attending the funeral of the slain students demanded the incident be treated as a hate crime.

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