The hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter went viral Wednesday after the Tuesday murder of three Muslims students in North Carolina.
Thousands of people used the hashtag on social media platforms, with many speculating that the shooting was the result of anti-Muslim sentiment. The alleged shooter, Craig Hicks, 46, is a professed "anti-theist," according to his Facebook page. Local police said Wednesday they are still investigating a motive for the killings, but that a preliminary investigation indicates an ongoing parking dispute may be at least partially the cause.
Some Twitter users complained about the relative lack of media coverage Tuesday night, saying it indicated a double-standard in the way the American public values Islam compared with other religions.
#MuslimLivesMatter, which has been used in reference to deadly conflicts in the Middle East, is an outgrowth of #blacklivesmatter, the hashtag that erupted on social media after the grand jury decisions in the police killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in New York City.
Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison tweeted his condolences.
A cousin of murder victim Deah Shaddy Barakat took to Twitter, too.
Others simply mourned the couple.