While Muslims keep screaming from the roof tops that this was a hate crime, the Police have publicly stated many times that the shooting appears to have been motivated by “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking”. While I am sure that many people are unwilling to believe that, the country where this shooting took place would suggest other wise. People in the US have been shooting each other for decades for shit much pettier than that. Even the police were aware that this was an “ongoing dispute” likely because they had to be called in for it before, most likely when this guy had cars towed out of his parking space.
While I am saddened by the tragic loss of life, a friend reminded me earlier today of a point I had been considering myself. As an Atheist, I can testify that I have experienced this before as well. There are a lot of religious people out there, both Christian and Muslim, who treat non-believers like absolute shit. There are a lot of believers out there who don’t think Atheists should have any rights and should even be executed for not believing in God. This friend took a moment to also remind me that if there are a lot of Muslims who don’t respect atheists, why would a Muslim (or Christian) respect a non-believer’s right to own a parking space?
Let that sink in for a moment.
We already know that the truth of this incident and the ongoing disrespect for non-believers would certainly explain why there were so many incidents over this guy’s parking space. Just another example of religious folk not showing an ounce of respect or human decency towards a non-believer. They might have assumed that because he was an atheist that he was unworthy of having a space, especially if parking was limited and not all tenants were allowed to have one. This would actually be consistent with the thinking that a lot of Muslims openly exhibit towards non-believers. That non-believers should have no rights are are considered inferior to people who are believers. It would certainly explain why they constantly took his parking space despite the owner’s protest and having cars towed away several times.
Even if this is true… that still doesn’t excuse what this man did. A parking spot is no reason to go postal and fire a gun at people. There is no excuse but for some reason that doesn’t stop some people from picking up a weapon and standing up for themselves.
To all the people who think this non-believer was a bigot and that the religion of the people he shot was the only motive he had; I’m calling bullshit. Chances are this guy was not the bigot but in fact the true recipient of the actually discrimination that was going around that building. I’m willing to bet that this guy was tired of people looking down at him for not believing in their God and being called a heathen or infidel. He was probably sick and tired of people stealing his parking space, which was because these people were upset that a non-believer would get a parking space before them.If someone you think is beneath you gets something before you do, that really seems to piss people off. This is especially true with people who are religious and think they should get special treatment for believing in God.
I’ve witnessed that kind of bigotry with my own eyes. I few years ago, I went to a food bank and I was the fourth in line out of twenty people waiting. A lady who arrived late became upset because she was asked to take a number and wait. She demanded to be seen first and skip everyone else who had arrived before her. This person of religion, which was apparent based on what she was wearing, was not asking but ordering that food bank to treat her better because she thought she was. That’s likely the kind of discrimination this guy was feeling during the ongoing dispute over a parking space.
Personally, I am against all violence. If I had a moment to speak with that Atheist before the shooting… I would have told him that he was wrong. That all life should be respected and that there were better ways to deal with someone stealing your parking space than taking the law into your own hands. Now this man has to spend the rest of his life in jail and for good reason. That is what we should do to anyone that takes a life for what was a very pathetic reason.
It’s upsetting that this man felt taking a gun and shooting someone was his only recourse and that there wasn’t something or someone else out there that could have helped him with his problem. From what I’ve read, the folks on his street filed complaints with the building about how this guy would harass people about his parking space. That’s because it was his fucking parking space! Maybe if you left the fucking man alone, he would do the same! When it’s all said and done, that’s what it all boils down to: respect. If the people of the building respected this man’s right to not believe, things might have turned out differently. If the people residing in this building respected this man’s right to own a parking space, things might have turned out much differently. More importantly, If the man who flipped out was more respectful of human life and the rule of law, things would have definitely turned out much, much differently.
Unfortunately based on what I’m reading, there wasn’t much respect going around for anything or anyone, and it’s that is a major reason why three young people are dead. Every major religion states that someone should love thy neighbor, not matter what. If these alleged people of religion actually practiced what they preached rather than acted like a bunch of bigoted assholes, perhaps things would have turned out a little bit better.