In the wake of the Chapel Hill murders, people of Left-wing persuasion have been doing a lot of talking about the double standards which are applied to murder when it’s Muslims being murdered by non-Muslims rather than the other way round. All very true. If a Muslim had been the murderer in Chapel Hill, and his victims had been non-Muslim, we’d now be hearing the mainstream media (let alone the conservative media) talking about ‘terrorism’, the pundits would be giving us their standard reheated ‘clash of civilisations’ rhetoric, pontificating about the inherently violent nature of Islam, asking Muslim ‘community leaders’ to address the cancer of extremism in their midst, etc etc etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. Hell, Charles Windsor might even open his empty head again to release some more racist platitudes about the need for Muslims to ‘conform’ to ‘our values’ (there is no ‘us’ or ‘we’ or ‘our’, Mr Windsor. Please fuck off). There certainly wouldn’t be anybody desperately trying to spin the murders as nothing more than a dispute over a parking space, or the product of the singular demons of a lone nut.
But we don’t actually need to theorise what might have happened if the skin colours and/or religions of the victims and killer in Chapel Hill were transposed. We’ve seen it demonstrated for us in the real world, time and time again. You’ll have heard of Lee Rigby, the young British soldier horribly murdered by two Muslim men in May 2013. If you were living in the UK at the time, you will hardly have been able to miss it. I think people were actually obliged by law to mention it on TV at least once every half hour. You may not have heard of Mohammed Saleem however, an 82 year old Muslim man who was stabbed to death by a Ukrainian student in Birmingham (I didn’t know non-Muslims were even allowed in Birmingham!). It happened the month before Lee Rigby was killed. To put it mildly… it wasn’t quite the media sensation that the Rigby murder became, despite the fact that Saleem’s killer was later convicted of planting bombs in three Mosques in the Midlands (so it probably wasn’t about a parking space). The Rigby murder (which was utterly horrible and senseless, let’s be in no doubt about that) unleashed an upsurge of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the UK, despite being roundly and publicly condemned by just about every prominent Muslim, and every major Muslim organisation, in Britain. Needless to say, the wave of violent, anti-Muslim bigotry was not covered in depth by the media.
But I mustn’t talk about this stuff. Jonathan Freedland will accuse me of starting a who’s-the-most-picked-on ‘arms race‘. I mean, surely there are higher priorities than the frequent violent Islamophobia in Britain.
Some people still criticise Israel, for instance.
By the way, I do just want to make one observation about the Left reaction to Chapel Hill. If you’re on the Left, or a liberal, and you’re condemning the Chapel Hill murders, and decrying the double standards of the media, and you’re not also at least occasionally speaking out against the wholesale slaughter of Muslims and Arabs by Western governments (chiefly but by no means only the USA), and the support given by Western governments to regimes that violently oppress Muslims (i.e. Saudi Arabia, Israel), and the double standards of the media on these subjects, then guess what… you’re a fucking hypocrite! Congratulations!