We have yet to get over the brutal murder of Imam Maulama Akonjee and his assistant, Thara Uddin, and here we have yet another murder, another horrible loss, of one of our fellow Muslims.
The stabbing of Nazma Khanam, while extremely tragic, was not treated as such. When hearing about all of the attacks on Muslims on American soil, one can’t help but wonder: “Will it ever end?”
We all remember the death of the three Muslim Chapel Hill students (Deah, Yusor, and Razan) and how it shook America, but it taught us a valuable lesson as put by Afghan Journalist, Abdullah Azada Khenjani: “Muslims are only newsworthy when behind a gun, not in front of it.”
Khenjani’s remark could not be more relevant at this very moment. The most tragic part of the entire issue is the lack of news coverage. The most news coverage it received was from local news sources such as New York Daily News, CBS Local, NBC New York, etc.
I thought that something this huge would have at least been mentioned in the New York Times, CNN, Fox, or ABC News. This is what I found when I took it upon myself to look for the news on these sources: Nothing — absolutely nothing.
Apparently, Khenjani was not wrong when he said that Muslims were only newsworthy when behind the gun. A-60-year-old woman was stabbed to death and no one bats an eye.
Today, the biggest source of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in American society is the media. Portraying Muslims as terrorists and extremists while not covering the attacks on Muslims, or the horrors they face, continues to be the deep-rooted dehumanization of Muslims — and the media knows this.
Portraying Muslims as terrorists and extremists while not covering the attacks on Muslims, or the horrors they face, continues to be the deep-rooted dehumanization of Muslims — and the media knows this.
The Chapel Hill shooting did not get the news coverage that it nearly deserved. It was only heard through social media with hashtags such as #ChapelHillShooting, which eventually allowed their lost lives to take the world by storm. Today we see a repeat of history through the murder of Nazma Khanam.
Why is it that when I asked my friends today about Khanam’s stabbing, no one has heard about it? Because like Khenjani said, Muslims don’t matter when they are victimized and are being attacked.
This is essentially how the media fuels Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment — by not covering the attacks on Muslims.
The media is what Islamophobia feeds on; without it essentially, Islamophobia has no platform. By ignoring Muslim cries for help when needed, the media provides the necessary platform for Islamophobia to grow.
In the NBC New York article, the stabbing was not regarded as a hate crime; “Police said that an investigation into the stabbing is ongoing. They did not say that the killing was being investigated as a hate crime.”
It is baffling how such a crime does not have a clear motive; as CAIR-NY mentions, NYPD was reported to have said no motive has been established. In the CAIR-NY article, CAIR urges the New York Police Department to look for a hate motive in the murder.
America has grown too accustomed to Islamophobia, and the effect that it has on us as a nation is terrible. This is not a fight against each other; it is a fight with one another to defeat the disease of Islamophobia.
The number of brutal murders of Muslims is a reminder that every nation, every race, every religion and faith, every ethnicity, every human being needs to stand up against Islamophobia and take away the false legitimacy it has grown to have.