CAIRO: Three Muslim residents of North Carolina were shot dead Wednesday at a complex near the University of North Carolina campus in the U.S.; Craig Hicks, 46, turned himself in to the police for the shooting, according to the Independent.
Deah Barakat, 23, his wife Yusor Abu Salha, 21 and her sister Razan Abu Salha, 19, were pronounced dead the area of Summerwalk Circle in Chapel Hill after the police arrived at around 5 P.M. local times, according to a statement by the town of Chapel Hill.
“It sorrows us all to see what has happened here today. Please rely on each other and remember these beautiful souls in your happy thoughts. Their faith meant a lot to them, and it is in fact what helps us all feel at peace with the tragedy of their murder,” a Facebook page created in the victims’ memory posted.
According to Yusor’s Facebook page, she married her husband in December 2014. The three family members identified as being of Arab origins.
Hicks posted criticisms of religions on his Facebook prior to the shooting. On Jan 21, he posted a picture of what he wrote was his “loaded 38 revolver.”
“I don’t deny you your right to believe whatever you’d like; but I have the right to point out it’s ignorant and dangerous for as long as your baseless superstitions keep killing people. ANTI-THEISM: The conscientious objection to religion,” Hick’s cover photo reads.
The hashtags #Chapelhillshooting and #Muslimlivesmatter have gone viral on Twitter.
“I think there may be some white male atheists in my neighborhood. Should I be worried? #ChapelHillShooting,” tweeted Andrew Stroehlein, European media director at Human Rights Watch.
“After #chapelhillshooting, will there now be loads of piece re need for atheism to ‘reform’ & a call for ‘moderate’ atheists?” Mehdi Hasan, Huffington Post UK’s political director tweeted.
Farris Barakat, Deah’s brother, wrote on Facebook that “[p]lease pray for them, their friends, and the family. I haven’t even begun to fully comprehend what has happened. But I know for sure those three together have done so much we are all proud of. No reason to stop being proud now. God is great. God is greater.”