The United States Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (USACBI) mourns the lives and expresses condemnation of the murder of three Arab Muslim students at the University of North Carolina on February 10.
23-year-old Deah Shaddy Barakat, who was Syrian American, his 21-year-old Palestinian American wife, Yusor Mohammad, and her sister, 19-year-old Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, were killed execution-style by a self-described anti-theist with a history of harassment and racist intimidation of Muslims.
This bald-faced act of Islamophobic and anti-Arab terrorism reflects the ideological and political climate of a United States where constant and steady drumbeat of war and violence against Arabs and Muslims continues almost without interruption.
Against the backdrop of the Oscar-nominated film American Sniper, commemorating the life of an American marksman credited with killing 160 Iraqis during the U.S. invasion of that country; and in the shadow of continued U.S. state support for the Israeli apartheid regime and its occupation of Palestine, including military support for last summer”s attack on Gaza, resulting in the deaths of more than 2,300 Palestinians, the actions of the North Carolina murderer represent the continued normalization of Arabophobia and Islamophobia in the U.S.
Only a united front against racism and Islamophobia in the U.S. can turn back such actions. We have learned from the recent mass Black Lives Matter protests that concentrated public action against racism and structural violence gives confidence to people to oppressed people defend themselves.
In the case of Islamophobia and Arabophobia – and here, President Obama’s silence about this act of terror speaks volumes about the climate in the US –
a popular fight against domestic bigotry and violence against Muslims, Palestinians, and Arabs must be coupled to resisting the use of violence by the U.S. state in the form of drone wars in Afghanistan and Yemen; its condoning of abusive restrictions of the rights of Muslims by repressive state regimes like Saudi Arabia; and its continuing support for Israel”s illegal occupation, racial discrimination against Palestinian citizens, use of militarized policing, attacks on African immigrants, and genocidal violence against Palestinians.
USACBI calls on citizens of the world everywhere to join in this fight in the living memory of Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha.