By Jonathan Walsh
By Jonathan Walsh
Rabat – Suzanne Barakat, the sister of one of three people killed in the 2015 Chapel Hill Shootings in North Carolina, has called on Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump to stop inciting hate against Muslims.
Barakat’s brother, Deah, was a 23-year-old Syrian American studying at North Carolina State University, when in February of last year he was gunned down along with his fiancé and her sister in what has become one of the most notorious hate-killings of Muslims in recent American history.
A year on from the massacre, Barakat had strong words for Trump – whose anti-Islamic speech she identifies as inciting hate-crimes against people of the religion.
“I want you [Trump] to look me in the eye and tell me that my brother… his bride… and her younger sister were worthy of those bullets because of their faith” she said, in an interview with AJ+.
Trump’s recent use of a hoax story in which a US army general had allegedly shot Muslims with bullets dipped in pig’s blood was one specific incident Barakat took issue with.
“What you are saying [by promoting this story] is that an entire group of people are worthy of violence,” she argued. “Those same words that are getting him points in the campaign are also ones that are leading to potentially lethal outcomes.”
It is Muslim’s constitutionally given right, said Barakat, to receive the same treatment as everybody else, regardless of their faith.
Recent times have seen a vast increase in the number of hate-crimes against Muslims in the United States. 2015 saw record numbers of hate-crimes taking place according to a report the Council on American-Islamic Relations cited by CNN.
Trump’s actions, many argue, play a pivotal role in this increase.
“It’s also just stoking the fuels of fear,” said Fatina Abdrabboh, director of the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee’s office in Michigan, in an interview with the guardian following Trump’s call to ban Muslims in America. “This guy is [using] a tragedy and spinning it in the most vitriolic ways for political points. That’s just really not helpful.”