There is obviously a sort of outrage against a teenaged Muslim girl’s killing in Virginia. Authorities have called the murder as a road rage crime, while her mother and father have said that their 16-year old daughter was killed for her Muslim dress.
The 16-year old girl was murdered Sunday when she was returning to mosque from a restaurant where she had gone for early morning suhoor. The girl was fasting for the last 24-days with the entire Muslim community of North America. Muslims have to fast during the lunar month of Ramadan from daybreak till sunset and have to avoid eating anything or drinking.
Reports claim that the teenager was a sophomore at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia. Principal Kim Retzer, in a message told parents, via Reston Now: “It’s believed that the missing teen is one of our students and while we await further news about this very sad incident, I would also ask that you refrain from engaging in rumor and speculation on social media about today’s events…I wanted you to be aware of these developments and to inform you that we will have crisis counselors at the school beginning tomorrow morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family”.
She also reportedly worked at a McDonald’s in Reston, Virginia. A coworker, Usman Anwar Khan, told Buzzfeed that Nabra “was a really nice girl” who “always talked with a smile.” American Muslims’ leading organization, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) said that it is mourning the loss of Nabra Hassanen who was kidnapped and murdered while walking back to the mosque from having suhoor, the morning Ramadan meal, with a group of friends
The organization went on to add, “We are seeing a rise in attacks against Muslims, particularly targeting Muslim women who are veiled. We urge community leaders to increase security at their masajid and have open dialogue with their community to share and address local concerns, issues and experiences. It is crucial for us to come together and support each other as a community”.
“In these final blessed nights of Ramadan, please keep our dear sister Nabra, her family and her community in your prayers. Although we are facing challenging times, we must remain hopeful and continue to work together to build a community that is safe and just for all people” ISNA president said.
The teenager’s grieving mother Sawsan Gazzar said her daughter had borrowed an abaya from her to wear to Ramadan services at the mosque on Saturday night, as she “wasn’t ordinarily religiously observant”. When asked why she might have been targeted, her mother said, “I think it had to do with the way she was dressed and the fact that she’s Muslim…Why would you kill a kid? What did my daughter do to deserve this?”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe while condoling the death of the teenager said, “Dorothy & I are heartbroken over this senseless act of violence. We are praying for Nabra’s family & ADAMS Community.” U.S. Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia said in a statement: “We are heartbroken and horrified by the news of the brutal murder of a beautiful 17-year old girl. 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 difficult time and the entire ADAMS Center community.”
Hassanen’s father, Mohmoud Hassanen Aboras, told The Guardian newspaper he believes his daughter was killed because “she is Muslim”. He also told reporters he doesn’t want anyone to feel the pain he feels. “My daughter is dead, and I don’t want anyone to feel what I feel, to lose your 17-year-old daughter … Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hispanic, whatever,” he said.
In the meantime, Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, has been arrested and charged with Nabra Hassanen’s murder in an incident police say began as a road dispute with a male teenager who was among Hassanen’s group. “It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence,” Fairfax County police spokeswoman Julie Parker said at a news conference on Monday. Parker said there was no indication the attack near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque early on Sunday was motivated by race or religion.