ABIM Condems Chapel Hill Murders of Three Muslim Students
Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM) condemns the shocking tragedy that had occurred with the heinous crime of brutal murder upon three muslims citizens at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. Even more regrettable and lamentable is that, the death of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19 (Yusor’s sister), has not gotten its due recognition and proper denunciation from the international community that seems to practice double standards.
Within the contextual framework of the international media’s typically established methods of operations specifically, ABIM is deeply appalled by the media’s intentionally lack of coverage and selective journalism in contrast to the incidents of Kayla Mueller, Charlie Hebdo, Khalid Mousabekh (Jordanian pilot), as well as many other incidents that were all purposely sensationalized and propagated simplistically with Islam extremism.
Islamic scholar Prof Dr Tariq Ramadhan commented on this tragedy by highlighting the issue of a general perception attempted to be built by irresponsible media practitioners to the general public (regarding this incident) to satisfy political agendas. This situation is far from the responds shown by Muslims across the world, for example during the Charlie Hebdo incident and the hostage killings in Sydney, that saw the active participation and strong opinions from many leading Muslim figures and groups including Tariq Ramadhan himself.
For ABIM, it is a huge concern as it is feared that a wrongful portrayal and unfortunate gap in terms of perceptions may be created between the Muslim communities with the non-muslim communities, not only confined to the United States but ultimately also at the global scale. The tragedy of Chapel Hill will not only heighten the ‘fever’ of Islamophobia (among the non-muslim communities), but also increase the appeal of radical extremism among the Muslim communities that have generally been deprived of opportunity and often misrepresented by the coverage of media.
The media is a powerful instrument in shaping the perception of the masses. In the context of the Chapel Hill tragedy, ABIM strongly believes that the media plays a crucial role to set an example as a medium to ensure stability as well as preserving the harmonious relationships established between muslim and non muslim communities around the globe.
The media must never intimidate the Muslims into becoming apologetic (towards the threat of Islamophobia) as if it was solely the entire Muslim community’s fault without giving ample space and credible platform to represent itself.
MOHAMAD RAIMI AB RAHIM, Vice President, Muslim Youth Movement of Malaysia (ABIM)