The sister of a Muslim-American man killed last year in a possible hate crime has called out Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump for telling what's been called an offensive story about killing insurgents using bullets dipped in pigs' blood over a century ago.
Trump sparked outrage In a speech on Friday in South Carolina by repeating an unsubstantiated story about the execution of dozens of Muslim prisoners in the Philippines in the early 1900s, as supposedly ordered by U.S. General John Pershing.
While Trump didn't call for other Muslims to be killed that way, he did tell the story enthusiastically, and concluded that "we better start using our heads or we're not gonna have a country, folks."
Suzanne Barakat's response made waves on social media. The San Francisco doctor is the sister of Deah Barakat, who was killed last year in Chapel Hill alongside his wife and sister-in-law. In a tweet on Saturday, she asked Trump to meet with her and "tell me my brother, Yusor & Razan were deserving of the bullets."
Deah Barakat, 23; Yusor Mohammad, 21; and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19 were gunned down on Feb. 10, 2015, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Craig Hicks is being tried for murder in the shooting, and the FBI is looking into whether to bring hate crime charges.
Barakat didn't respond to requests for comment from NBC Owned Television Stations, but she did discuss her tweet with The New York Times in a story published Monday.
Trump's comment “allows for the Average Joe to see Muslims the way Craig Hicks saw my brother and his wife of six weeks and her sister,” she told the newspaper, saying Hicks saw Muslims as "subhuman.”
There's no evidence backing up Trump's story, according to Snopes.com, but Trump claimed "this is something you can read in the history books," he said at the rally. "Not a lot of history books, because they don't like teaching it."
Barakat wasn't the only person outraged by Trump's rendition of the discredited story. Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the coments incite violence.
"By directly stating that the only way to stop terrorism is to murder Muslims in graphic and religiously-offensive ways, he places the millions of innocent, law-abiding citizens in the American Muslim community at risk from rogue vigilantes," he said in a statement released Saturday.
This isn't the first time Trump has offended Muslims. The billionaire has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country and claimed that thousands of the religion's followers in New Jersey cheered the attacks on Sept. 11, 2011, despite there being no evidence to support that.
But the outcry hasn't slowed his progress politically, most recently winning the South Carolina primary a day after telling the pigs' blood story. It's something Barakat seemed to make note of by tagging her tweet, which has been retweeted more than 2,000 times, with "#SCPrimary."