On 12th June 2016 the world woke up with the heart breaking news about an act that is considered to be the deadliest incident of violence against LGBTQ+ people. At 2 a.m. Omar Mateen, a Muslim, opened fire at the gay night club Pulse in Orlando and killed 50 young people and injured round 53 people.
Five days later, on 17th June 2016 the citizens of Charleston, South Carolina remembered the lives that were lost at a shooting in a historic black church one year ago. A white man, Dylann Roof, entered the church during a prayer meeting and killed 9 people.
Media from all over the world have been reporting about both cases, calling Mateen’s act both a terror attack and a hate crime and Roof’s only a hate crime.
This leads us to the definition of the terms “terrorist attack” and “hate crime” as such. According to thefreedictionary.com a terrorist attack would be “the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature”. Same source defines a hate crime as a “crime motivated by prejudice against a social group”.
So the key statement of the media is that a Muslim hating and killing LGBTQ+ people is a violent attack with political/religious/racial motives and a white man hating and killing black people… isn’t?
The fact that a violent act in only being labeled as a “terrorist attack” if it was committed by a Muslim is allowing the prejudice and ignorance against Muslims to grow. If terrorism is being linked exclusively to Muslims, then it won’t be very difficult to convince people that all Muslims are terrorists. An idea that is already spreading amongst people and couldn’t be more wrong.
http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/22/us/charleston-shooting-hate-crime-charges/ (eingesehen 21.6.2016)
http://edition.cnn.com/2016/06/12/us/orlando-shooting-what-we-know/ (eingesehen 21.6.2016)