Sister Of Slain UNC Muslim Student: It's "Open Season" Against Islam; American Sniper "Dehumanizes" Muslims


JAKE TAPPER, CNN: Let's bring in Deah [Barakat]'s sister, Suzanne Barakat.

Suzanne, first of all, obviously, our deepest condolences to you and your family for this senseless and brutal act. I hope that you and your family are at least finding comfort in the interest and support in this case from all over the world.

SUZANNE BARAKAT, DEAH BARAKAT'S SISTER: Thank you for having me, Jake.

It has been tremendously heartwarming to see the outpouring of love and support. The way it started, I would say the day of the murders, an assemblywoman from the state I live in used the hashtag, #standupagainstIslam, and it's currently an open season, a time where it's an open season against Islam, Muslims in Washington, Muslims in the general media dehumanizing Muslims in movies like "American Sniper," it's incredibly inspiring right now to see that Deah and Yusor and Razan's love for their country is being reciprocated.


TAPPER: What kinds of things did he say to your family?

BARAKAT: So, occasionally, feel free to reference a previous interview where I elaborated a little more on the parking situation, but suffice it to say that on the day of the murders, the parking spot that was, quote/unquote, "disputed" had no parking -- no car in it. I wondered maybe was it Razan who was visiting her sister to keep her company had maybe parked in that spot and that triggered it.

No. They all knew not to park in this disputed visitors' parking spot. And by disputed, I mean the one that the neighbor claimed belonged to his wife and had been cleared by the apartment complex agency as open and free to all.

And despite that, they did not use it. So, this was not a parking dispute. I would like to highlight, Jake, that had roles been reversed, and no one is talking about this, but had roles been reversed and the man was Muslim, was of Arab descent, was of South Asian descent, this would have immediately been labeled an act of terror.

I haven't heard anyone use the term terrorist here, but why the double standard? He has terrorized our families. He has terrorized our lives. He has terrorized our community, locally, nationally and internationally, and it's time that people call it for what it is.


TAPPER: What do you want, what does the family want? Obviously -- obviously, nothing will bring back these three young people who seem amazing and this is such a horrific event, but what does justice look like to you and your family?

BARAKAT: Justice means making sure that this never happens again, making sure that Muslims are respected, are protected, are cared for and are not left to live in fear.

I was speaking with my husband and wondering how are we going to raise children in this country if we are afraid for their safety and for their lives because of the ignorance and because of the bias -- we want to make sure that what comes out of this is awareness, is a spread of love.

We are not seeking to -- punishment is not the goal here. It is absolutely not the goal. We want everyone in solidarity globally to make sure that we all unite as humanity. Honor their lives and their legacy. We want to further the things that they were passionate about through dedication to service, their dedication to the homeless populations, to refugees abroad.

These are the things we want to focus on and we want to gather all of this energy and momentum right now and make sure that we are serving that purpose.

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