When I woke up this morning, and turned to the internet on my phone (yes, the addiction is that bad), I saw the news about the triple murder in Chapel Hill.

The headlines emphasized that the victims were Muslim. Immediately, the internet set out on the race that takes place in such circumstances — various sides jockeying for political position.

Maybe it was best I was completely busy all morning. I asked Amy to handle the news coverage of the event.

Throughout the day, facts seemed to develop that pointed away from this being an act of anti-Muslim violence, but there will be more facts to come out, and they should.

If this were a crime motivated by personal animus not religion, it would be bad in every way. If it were a crime motivated by religious hate, it would be worse. Such crimes tear at the fabric of society, not just the fabric of a family.

Throughout the day, doing other things out of one eye, watching events unfold out of the other, I didn’t expect to write about the story myself today.

Then when I got home and went on Twitter, I saw the photo. And it all hit home.

It’s a photo of one of the victims, Yusor Abu-Salha, dancing with her father at her wedding a few weeks ago, posted just days ago.

It was accompanied by this message: Dancing With Daddy 

Yusor Abu-Salha Dancing With Daddy

There is something about the image of a joyous bride and her proud father that transcends peoples.

This spring my son gets married, and his bride-to-be will dance with her father. My daughters are of marrying age (boy, doesn’t that make me sound old-fashioned), and one day I’ll dance that dance with them, God willing.

To lose that moment so soon is heartbreaking, to the father and all who knew and loved her.

I don’t know what the victims’ politics were, and I don’t care.

I also don’t know why it has moved me so much. It’s just a photo.


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