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.
I recently caught Dean Obeidallah making a very serious and entirely false allegation in the direction of Sam Harris. When Dean’s error of judgement was pointed out to him, instead of assuming the role of ‘decent human’ and offering an apology or retraction, he decided to behave like a petulant toddler instead.
February 2016 signalled a year since self-professed atheist Craig Hicks murdered three innocent Muslims in Chapel Hill. Dean decided to mark this occasion by taking to Twitter to bait atheists about it; namely that they are either the same as Hicks, part of the same murderous ideology or that hicks was motivated to kill by some anti-Muslim, ‘new atheist’ animus. Which is odd.
Back in November I wrote about the strange case of ‘Galen Hallcyon’. Galen is a YouTube blogger with over 15,000 subscribers. In October he posted a Facebook statement claiming to have conversed with Chapel Hill triple murderer Craig Hicks before his crimes. In this statement, he also claims the contents of his interaction with Hicks kept him ‘up at night’ because Hicks revealed himself to be a ‘highly dangerous’ individual motivated by the views of anti-theistic video bloggers. The Chapel Hill murders took place in February and why Galen Hallcyon only decided to share this information eight months later remains unclear – as do most of the details.
Regardless, a vocal gaggle of the usual regressive suspects began amplifying Hallcyon’s words as though they were conclusive proof of Craig Hicks’s hatred towards religious people.
‘Galen Hallcyon’ is a video blogger. I’m not familiar with this individual, or their output. However, a post they made on Facebook has come to my attention. The post is dated 22 October 2015, and its author ‘Hallcyon’ appears to claim that he had a conversation with Craig Hicks prior to The Chapel Hill Shootings:
‘I even have conversed with him on these positions. I thought the fellow was highly dangerous and my talks with him even kept me up at night. I was highly disappointed in not being able to reach him as he seemed persuaded by the inflammatory rhetoric of many vloggers. ‘
Further details are unfortunately lacking. This claim is now being used by a number of the usual suspects to confirm that this atrocity is an anti-Muslim hate crime, even before any attempts to substantiate these claims have been made. I reached out to ‘Hallcyon’ on Twitter and in a private email in the hope he would clarify a few things. Even though he has remained active on social media in the days following my attempts to communicate, I’m yet to receive a response. Given the potential importance of this information to the official investigation, I’ve posted my email below in the hope that it may prompt a response. I encourage you to share it far and wide.
Given the potential value this information could have to the current Police investigation, I feel I have a responsibility to make them aware of it too – so I will also be forwarding this on to The Chapel Hill Police Department in case they are not already aware.
Twitter user @TheFlowerThrowe (Update April 2016 – now changed to @LIFG_4_HRC), or ‘Johnny Spooner’ is an individual often uncharitably described as a ‘CJ Werleman flea’ due to his consistent promotion of Werleman’s articles, and a propensity for attacking Werleman’s detractors. When he isn’t being abusive towards me, he attacks me by way of ‘guilt by association’ – namely the fact that ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson has been on my podcast.
This is a point he attempts to use against me yet again in a new blog piece he has cobbled together when he states:
‘…new atheist podcaster/blogger Stephen Knight – who also has given a platform to anti-Muslim extremists – takes up the baton, armed only with half-truths and attacks an author for dedicating his book, The New Atheist Threat to the three Chapel Hill victims. And as these half-truths spread they become whole truths’
I note there is no attempt whatsoever to highlight what these ‘half truths’ are in my piece titled The Views And Potential Motivations Of Craig Hicks. Lazy. Also, as you can see from my comprehensive book review, mere ‘dedication’ is not what I ‘attacked’ Werleman for, but rather it was misrepresentation and exploitation.
Yet another school shooting has taken place earlier this week in The USA. How often can you keep labelling these events as ‘shocking’ before ‘routine’ seems more appropriate?
Reports suggest the killer quizzed his victims on their religious convictions before gunning down those identifying as Christians. The usual liberal regressive apologists have been out in force, finger-waving at ‘New Atheism’. And worse, sanctimonious atheists have been penning obnoxious ‘atheists, we need to talk’ type blogs. The fact is: We know very little about this shooting. We also know very little about this killer. All that these over-opinionated individuals are doing is blowing a trumpet in a concerto of uninformed noise.
There may well be many things to discuss with atheists, and non-atheists alike over this horrific mass murder – however, I think the gravity of the event deserves a more responsible approach. It is for this reason I shall wait until there has been an investigation before joining the orchestra.