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Suzanne Barakat's Talk on Islamophobia Discusses a Personal Tragedy

By: Riley von Niessen - Dec 14, 2016
References: ted & youtube
Suzanne Barakat, a physician, recounts the story of a senseless and brutally vicious crime that tore her family apart in her talk on Islamophobia.

As she explains, her brother Deah, his wife Yusor and Yusor's sister, Razan, were attacked in their home by their neighbor. The neighbor senselessly shot them and walked out, later telling the police that he committed the murders over a traffic dispute. This man had harassed the family for months prior to this, telling them that he didn't like the way they looked, demeaning their religion and brandishing his gun at them as a means of intimidating them.

Through her powerful story, Suzanne Barakat shows the disparity in how the western world often views hate crimes. She explains this by telling her audience to imagine if the roles were reversed and a Muslim-appearing person shot and killed young white people in the disturbing execution-style that her brother's killer used.

When labeled this way, it would be considered a terrorist attack, however when white men are the perpetrators, the excuse of a parking dispute is presented as viable. With her talk on Islamophobia, Suzanne Barakat speaks to the effect that the "mainstreaming of an anti-Muslim narrative" has on society and also notes the rise in hatred that coincides with election cycles.