Twitter/#MuslimLivesMatter

Three young Muslim students were shot and killed Tuesday in Chapel Hill, N.C. The circumstances around the shooting were bad enough; but in the eyes of critics around the world, how the story was — or wasn’t — covered only compounded the tragedy.

The basic details are as follows: Around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, allegedly shot Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, along with his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, at their apartment complex near the University of North Carolina. The three victims were pronounced dead when police arrived at the scene, and Hicks was arrested and charged. According to Al-Jazeera, the conflict stemmed from a disagreement about parking, but Chapel Hill police are considering the “possibility that this was hate-motivated,” as the department put it in a statement issued Tuesday.

The BBC reported Wednesday that online collectives formed around the criticism of mainstream Western media coverage of the incident:

The hashtag #ChapelHillShooting has been used more than 300,000 times and was trending not only in the US but also in the UK, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and several other Middle Eastern countries. An Arabic hashtag, which translates as ‘Chapel Hill Massacre’, is also trending with more than 13,000 tweets.

[…] Meanwhile the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter has been mentioned more than 20,000 times in the hours after the shooting.

Along with calling out media outlets for neglecting the story, some critiques have questioned news sources’ hesitation to frame the Chapel Hill shooting as an act of terrorism.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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