Islamic leaders are questioning Virginia detectives’ insistence that the beating death of a teenage Muslim girl appears to have been a case of road rage, saying the attack looks all too much like a hate crime.
Nabra Hassanen, 17, was bludgeoned with a baseball bat early Sunday by a motorist who drove up to about 15 Muslim teenagers as they walked or bicycled along a road, Fairfax County police said. A Hassanen family spokesman said all the girls in the group were wearing Muslim headscarves and robes.
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said there is a strong possibility the crime wouldn’t have happened if the teenagers weren’t Muslim. CAIR called on Muslim communities to increase security during the holy month of Ramadan in light of the young woman’s murder and a string of other attacks in America and in Britain.
The Fairfax County Police Department are blaming “road rage” as the mostly likely reason, instead of a hate crime, in the killing of a Muslim teenager in Virginia whose body was found in a pond later.
Nabra Hassanen, 17, was killed on Sunday after she and a group of nearly 15 friends encountered a driver, Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, about 3:40 a.m., the police said in a statement. The group of teenagers had been at a late-night event at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society in Sterling, Va., and were headed back to the mosque after a trip to a fast-food restaurant.
Mr. Torres was arrested at 5:15 a.m. on Sunday and charged with the murder after the Ms. Hassanen’s body was found.
The commonwealth’s attorney for Fairfax County, Raymond F. Morrogh, who is prosecuting the case, said Mr. Torres was arraigned on Monday and was jailed without bond. Hate crime charges could still be filed as the investigation progresses, he said earlier on Monday, adding, “I wouldn’t rule it out until I see all of the evidence.”
The news of the young girl’s murder emerged against the backdrop of the British attack of a mosque in London.
McLEAN, Va. (AP) — For the second time in as many months, a Muslim civil rights group is pursuing criminal charges on behalf of a taxicab driver who was subjected to an anti-Islamic rant caught on tape.
A civil rights organization is asking the Fairfax County, Va., prosecutor to pursue a case involving a Virginia taxi driver who was subjected to an anti-Muslim rant by a passenger.
In the most recent case, an Ashburn, Va., woman unleashed a string of expletives and called 911 to report that she was afraid for her life because she said her cabbie, Abdikar Aden of Alexandria, was “very Muslim.”
Aden says the woman also poked him repeatedly in the back of his shoulder, though that part of the confrontation was not captured in a recording provided to The Associated Press.
The Council on American Islamic Relations, which is representing Aden, wrote Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond Morrogh on Tuesday asking his office to prosecute the case.
Vandals attacked an under-construction mosque in Chantilly over the weekend, causing extensive damage, authorities said.
All of the mosque’s first-level windows and door glass were shattered by thrown rocks, causing about $60,000 in damages, according to Usman Ghumman, general secretary for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mosque.
He said the doors and windows were custom made to match the mosque’s design and artifacts.
Fairfax County police found the damage the morning of Jan. 30, but said there is no evidence that the vandals entered the building. Empty beer cans, liquor bottles and rocks were also found scattered on the mosque’s grounds and roof.
“If one or two windows were broken, we would have thought it was a random act of vandalism, but all fingers are pointing toward being a hate crime,” Ghumman said.