“Heartless Asshole..How Do You Sleep At Night?” Dean Obeidallah Loses The Plot
Dean Obeidallah has spent some of his February making prejudiced and unsubstantiated claims about atheists and triple Murderer Craig Hicks on Twitter. Dean would have you believe murderer Craig Hicks is guilty of a hate crime motivated solely by anti-Muslim bigotry, inspired by his ‘new atheism’. This is somehow the fault of Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris too.
This seems completely at odds with the information that has been made public. It is also at odds with the findings of the preliminary police investigation, or the charges currently faced by Craig Hicks.
To my simple suggestion that Dean should reveal what he knows about this case, which enables him to point the finger at atheists and public figures, I received abuse and further prejudice.
Rather than attempt to offer any evidence for his views, Dean refers to me as ‘despicable’ and accuses me of being a liar, specifically for saying this was about a ‘parking dispute’. But what Dean fails to notice however, is that I didn’t actually say it was about a ‘parking dispute’ in my article, I quoted an official statement from the Chapel Hill Police Department saying that. So, Dean is in fact calling the Chapel Hill Police Department ‘liars’. Dean should reveal what he knows that justifies this very serious smear.
An utterly bizarre suggestion is then made:
Dean somehow thinks that all facts can be disregarded in favour of the opinions of the victims’ family (who didn’t actually witness the murder). I’m not sure why Dean thinks using them as a pawn in his ill-judged game is a good idea, but there are some obvious problems with this nevertheless:
- Just because they say Hicks was motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry, doesn’t make it true.
- There is no evidence available to suggest Craig Hicks was an anti-Muslim bigot. There is actually evidence to suggest otherwise. However, even if Hicks was an anti-Muslim bigot, it still does not prove that he committed this particular crime because of that.
You can have the intellectual honesty and grasp of logic to know these are the facts and still maintain your empathy and compassion towards the family affected. Dean seems to want to make this an and/or situation.
His responses become more personal and unpleasant:
For the crime of using simple logic, I’m described as ‘callous’ and Sam Harris gets the blame…
Despite the personal jibes, I attempt to stay on topic. Now this truly is revealing. For the simple crime of asking Dean to support his public statements, I’m called a ‘heartless asshole’ and compared to a triple murderer:
Imagine if you will that Dean, a Muslim, asked me why I thought the Charlie Hebdo killers were motivated by Islam. Imagine then that I responded by calling him a ‘heartless asshole’ and accused him of being just like the perpetrators. It’s not unthinkable to suspect that CAIR may log it amongst their hate crime statistics.
Next time you see Dean on TV (or anywhere else) bemoaning anti-Muslim bigots, remember that he embodies the very same mentality and prejudice they do. He simply aims it at a different target.
As I reiterate in everything I write about this case: Hicks may well be guilty of an anti-Muslim hate crime. It’s just that none of the information currently made available to the public so far suggest that is the case. It is irresponsible to claim otherwise.
UPDATE 02 March 2016:
Dean responded to this blog post by accusing me of defending Murder:
I suppose that when Dean questions the motives of Jihadists (nothing to do with Islam!) he is defending terrorism then. If it wasn’t clear before, it should be now: Dean isn’t particularly intelligent, nor a helpful voice on these issues.