Je Suis Deah, Yusor and Razan



Another tragedy has occurred this week. Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were shot dead outside their homes, apparently over a parking space.

I know I’m not alone when I say my heart can’t handle any more blood shed. I sincerely hope that all the families of innocent victims of hate around the world find peace within their own hearts.

I find it weird how many people have to take to social media to remind the world that ‘all lives matter’. You don’t have to be a genius to see that the amount of media coverage any tragedy gets is dependent on certain factors – who committed the crime, what was the demographic of the victim/s, and what were the motives. A life taken is a life taken and these factors are important in every single case.

When the Charlie Hebdo shooting happened, the world was quick to react and start the conversation about freedom of speech. What about everyone’s freedom to dress as they please and go home without the fear of being harmed? What about the conversation about the rise of Islamophobia and hate crimes towards Muslims since 9/11? World leaders gathered in Paris almost instantly after the shooting. President Obama only spoke out about this shooting three long days later. The obvious double standard here is beyond scary.

Oh and by the way guys, just to clarify, I, a Muslim, condemn ISIS, you know, in case anyone was wondering. Their violations of these freedoms make me sick.

We all know this confrontation was not about a parking space. I’ve written time and time again about the frustration of having my disability parking spots stolen by the able-bodied. Am I about to kill the next person who does that? Hell no.

We only hear about particular stories if it fits the government’s or media’s agenda. Imam Zaid Shakir, a leading Islamic scholar based in the USA, puts it perfectly. “The sad fact is that the mainstream media that recently brought us “I am Charlie” has no interest in humanizing Muslims. The deceased were too full of life and positive energy to meet the stereotype of the evil, sneaky, not to be trusted Muslim.”

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This hits the nail on the head. Seeing three beautiful, smiling Muslims who were so full of love that they dedicated their lives to helping people would just be too confusing for people to comprehend.

I’m not Charlie. I believe in free speech but not at the expense of 1.7 billion already marginalized people. I’d prefer to be Deah, Yusor and Razan, or at least aspire to be.


  1. We all know this confrontation was not about a parking space.

    Do we? I would ask how it is that we all know, but suspect your statement is a means of avoiding the chore of providing evidence for your innuendo.

  2. Well I suspect the reason they are treated differently is because one was an organised terrorist attack in the heart of Paris, while the other was an isolated shooting in the States.

    Which by the way I haven’t seen any evidence for being racially motivated, I mean it is possible (and probably even likely) but calling it a hate crime just because the victims were Muslim is silly and reactionary. Who is to say he wouldn’t have done to same to a family of whites in the same situation. We should wait on the evidence.

    “Am I about to kill the next person who does that? Hell no”

    That is because you are not insane, this guy obviously was.

    • Latifa
      I’m with you on this It was a hateful, hate crime.

      It is hard to believe that someone killed these very respectable, middle class, young people just because he didn’t like them or the way the parked their car or more likely because of everything they stood for.

      If a group of people become demonised and hated because of who they are ( in this case Muslim) then the result is a cheapening of their lives.

      It seems to me that some people, encouraged by the media, will be happy with nothing short of war and they have found their enemy.

      Did we learn nothing from the mass deaths of the last century?

  3. Dear Latifa,

    I agree with much of what you say in this post. And the murder of Deah, Yusor and Razan is an appalling crime. And I can understand why you’d say “I’m not Charlie” — there is much to deplore about that magazine.

    But when you say ” I believe in free speech but not at the expense of 1.7 billion already marginalized people” I’m not quite sure what you mean in practical terms. — Does that mean that mockery of Islam is an act of oppression in itself, and if so, do you argue that it should be banned? In which case I would respectfully disagree

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