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Issued: 12 February 2015

January 2015 marked the moment when the world witnessed two lone wolves commit the heinous crime of murder at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris. #JeSuisCharlie went viral in the hours that followed with the world’s condemnation in its full plethora.  A month later and again we are told of the ridiculous murders by a lone wolf in Chapel Hill. In the wake of this latest senseless murders of three young Muslims – Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; her husband, Mr. Barakat, 23; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19 – the world and the media remain largely silent.

The hashtag #Muslimslivesmatter on twitter is a clear signifier of a society frustrated with media coverage and the world order of today. The hypocrisy and lack of attention by both media and politicians of the Chapel Hill incident is a display of just another subtle way of promoting the ideas of Islamophobia.

The last decade saw the US and its western allies engage in what is popularly known as the ‘war on terror’ with the so-called aim and mission to protect its citizens and prevent any attack on the sanctity of its ‘democracy’. This sham of a mission resulted in the condemnation of Muslims and Islam with its constituents carrying the tags and titles of ‘Terrorist’ and ‘Terrorism’. The consuming public, for the large part, has adopted this narrative pushed by the media and the Muslim community lives to apologise for its existence.

Unfortunately, the families of Abu-Salha and Barakat are paying the price of this rhetoric. The lives of these innocents and their families were deemed so unimportant that world condemnation was not necessary.

The Charlie Hebdo incident is no different to the Chapel Hill incident except that the ‘terrorist’ has now become the victim.

Issued By:

Nabila Ismail

Researcher, Media Review Network

Tel No: 011 837 3220

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The aspiration of the Media Review Network is to dispel the myths and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and to foster bridges of understanding among the diverse people of our country. The Media Review Network believes that Muslim perspectives on issues impacting on South Africans are a prerequisite to a better appreciation of Islam.
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