Why Wasn't Nabra Hassanen's Murder Treated as a Hate Crime?


Nabra Hassanein, a 17-year-old Muslim teen was assaulted and killed Monday in Virginia in what the police investigates as a road rage incident, excluding the possibility of a hate crime, according to media reports.

Torres reportedly pulled up to Hassanen and her friends, who were walking to a mosque for an a prayer vigil, and picked a fight with them during which Hassanen became separated from her friends.

The father of a 17-year-old Muslim girl who was murdered in Virginia while walking with a group of friends to their mosque has a simple question: Why?

Detectives have so far found no indication of a link "between the victim's faith or religious beliefs or the mosque and the crime itself", Fairfax County Police Spokesman Don Gotthardt told The Associated Press.

Some of the teenagers were in the road and Martinez allegedly began arguing with the boy on a bicycle as he was driving in his auto, Parker told a news conference.

Hassanen's body was found later in a pond. Autopsy results showed that she suffered from blunt force trauma to the upper body.

The girl and her friends were dressed in abayas, the robe-like dress worn by some Muslim women, according to the Post, prompting fears that the victim was targeted because she was Muslim. Later on Monday, Fairfax County police said in a news release the incident was apparently linked to road rage.

"Please pray for me, please pray for me", Hassanen's mother, Sawsan Gazzar, said, sobbing from her Reston apartment Sunday night, The Washington Post reported.

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The mosque and Hassanen's high school are offering grief counseling. "She's like humble. She was very nice, you know, I'm very sad", said Abas Sherif, a family friend and spokesperson.

They ran into a mosque, but one of them, Nabra, was left behind and was later reported as missing, said Deputy Aleksandra Kowalski, a spokeswoman for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.

He was assigned a public defender. Authorities have determined that Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, is responsible for the killing.

Officers noticed a suspicious vehicle in the area during the search and arrested Torres.

The lack of a hate crime investigation provoked deep skepticism among some American Muslims.

Hassanen's body was found in a pond in Sterling, Virginia hours after Darwin Martinez Torres allegedly struck her with a baseball bat, took her away, and killed her.

"His anger over that earlier encounter then led to violence when he hit Nabra with a baseball bat", Parker said.

Mohmoud Hassanen, Nabra's father, told the Guardian that he does not believe the police account and still suspects that his daughter was targeted because of her religion. "We know there is no greater pain for any parent and Chip and I extend our prayers to her family and loved ones at this hard time and the entire Adams Center community".