Police in Fairfax, Virginia, have found the body of Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim teenager who was kidnapped while returning to late-night prayer services with a group of her friends.
Nabra was returning to her mosque with her friends around 3 AM when a car pulled up and a man with a baseball bat approached them.
According the police reports, the man started attacking the teens, who all fled to the All Dulles-Area Muslim Society mosque for safety. Once inside, they realized Nabra was missing.
After searching for nearly 12 hours, Nabra's body was discovered in a pond in nearby Sterling, Virginia.
Shortly after the discovery, police arrested 22-year-old Darwin Torres was arrested and charged with murder.
And though the attack on the Muslim teenager took place outside a mosque, police first announced they were not investigating the murder as a hate crime. When asked about the nature of the investigation by Buzzfeed News, a spokesman said…
"…police currently do not have information indicating a "correlation between the victim's faith and the crime itself." However, he added that if there was any indication into a "future possible connection to her religion" as the investigation progressed, then police would "certainly" look into it."
While investigators have found no proof the murder was motivated by hate, Nabra's mother, Sawsan Gazzar, sees the situation differently. She told The Washington Post —
"I think it had to do with the way she was dressed and the fact that she’s Muslim." She added, "Why would you kill a kid? What did my daughter do to deserve this?”
Indeed, many attribute the violence to Islamophobia.
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