Killing in the name of atheism?

I think most if not all of you are aware of the development in Chapel Hill, North Caroline where three members of a family were killed by Craig, not the other one. From what I have read in the news so far, Craig is an atheist and those murdered were Muslims. I have read it could have been a dispute over parking space.

The death of any man is a tragedy and killing someone for a parking lot is something I can’t fathom though I know of people who have killed for less.

Is it possible to construe atheism in such a way that it is possible to kill in its name? Or can we say that anyone who kills and claims atheism is the motivation has conflated the meaning of atheism and something else?

In my view, I don’t see a way in which atheism can be a motivation to kill. It is a descriptor of just what one doesn’t believe in. The mere label of atheist doesn’t tell you what I believe in. Since the murders, I have read of people who expect that celeb atheists should come out and condemn such acts on behalf of the atheists. I don’t think I see the sense in any of this. For one, atheism has no tenets, no leaders. Each man is his king and priest. If any one atheist feels moved sufficiently to condemn the murders, it must be construed he is doing it in his person as a free man and not as representative of any atheist group.

Does speaking out consistently against violence and murder visited on people in the name of religion fuel hatred towards the religious group? What should we do faced in a world where people are butchered in the name of a prophet? Should we cow in fear or are we called upon to oppose this violence?