Atheist at Salon says Chapel Hill shootings weren’t hate crime – would he say the same if Hicks wasn’t an atheist?

…The killings might have passed almost unnoticed in the United States, where, in 2013 alone, there occurred more than 11,000 firearm homicides. But the combination of Hicks’ anti-theism and the Muslim faith of those he slaughtered led to (comprehensible) suspicions that his murder could be classified as a “hate crime,” and sparked a social media campaign that prejudged Hicks’ foul misdeed to be an anti-theistically or atheistically motivated execution.

Local press coverage of the Chapel Hill shooting quickly turned national and then international, with the result that ISIS-abetter Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s crypto-Islamist president, chided President Obama for his silence on it, which apparently prompted the president to wade into the affair with a written declaration that “No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship,” when there is still no evidence that that is what happened in Chapel Hill. Egypt’s Islamic Al-Azhar University decried a “terrorist cowardly act” rooted in “racism and Islamophobia.” The Organization of Islamic Cooperation – the same entity pushing in the United Nations for a global law criminalizing “insults” to religions – declared that “This gruesome crime has left Muslims worldwide in a state of shock and has raised concerns of the growing feelings of hatred towards Muslims and the increase of acts linked to Islamophobia in the United States.”

Without checking the books, some journalists rushed into print and backed calls for an investigation into whether Hicks’ murder was a hate crime, and Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered civil rights lawyers at the Department of Justice to do just that. But North Carolina law has no statute that would even allow prosecution of murder as a hate crime. Glenn Greenwald went beyond hate crime, tweeting: “Horrifying: Radical atheist terrorist murders 3 Muslims in Chapel Hill,” which presumes Hicks’ killing qualifies as terrorism. Check out the FBI’s definition of terrorism: Whether Hicks’ atrocity meets the criteria hinges on his motive…

All quite correct. But why do I have the feeling that Salon would not feel the same unless Hicks was an atheist? Suppose he had been a — nominal — Christian? My guess is that they would take a different viewpoint.  The article contains a long rant about Christianity but leaves Islam alone. Generally, they are extremely supportive of Islam, but the involvement of an atheist has thrown them for a loop.