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Memorial for slain Muslim teen girl is torched

23 June 2017

Darwin Martinez Torres, a 22-year-old from Sterling, Virginia, has been charged with murder in connection with Hassanen's death.

(Mohammad Alsalti via AP).

Her body was found in a pond in the 21500 block of Ridgetop Circle in Sterling, Va. later that Sunday.

Vigils for a 17-year-old Muslim girl killed while walking with a group of friends to their mosque in Sterling, Virginia, are being held across the nation.

"You can't just say, 'Oh, he didn't say anything against Islam, so no hate crime, '" said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.

The Washington Post reported that Nabra Hassanen was the first born of four daughters, a popular and diligent student who had just completed 10th grade. He stood before Hassanen's coffin, covered by a black shroud decorated with quotes from the Koran. Police say Hassanen was killed after a traffic dispute and that the cause of the killing was "road rage".

Officials said the group had stopped at a McDonald's between Ramadan prayers.

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"In the general area, it's very somber [and] we're obviously upset - people are sad, some are scared, some are concerned", he said.

Asked whether detectives believe Hassanen was sexually assaulted before her death - as some news reports have speculated - Wright said that possibility would be included in the all-encompassing investigation.

Hate crimes typically carry stiffer penalties than crimes without a bias component.

"That's the myth, isn't it?" the chief said.

However, the attacks on Hassanen and her memorial have caused some to suspect bigotry was a factor.

Torres then allegedly took Hassanen in his auto to another location and attacked her again, and her body was found in a pond Sunday afternoon. A funeral for Hassanen was held on June 21.

Most of the mourners were Muslim, but Christians and Jews attended as well.

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Joshua Salaam, a chaplain at the ADAMS Center, said police "have given us complete confidence" but the community is struggling because Hassanen was beloved by so many and known for her kind spirit.

"It's a pain that I don't think any of us would be able to describe", said Hurunnessa Fariad, spokeswoman for the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS).

Nabra Hassanen, 17, from Virginia went missing on Sunday morning, and by the end of that same day her body had been discovered by police. "'Pray at home, ' I tell her". "It's too hard. I raised my daughter for 17 years, and somebody took her life for no reason". Choking back tears, he added, "It could have been anybody". "It could have been anybody". "We're confident that they are doing the best they can to make sure they don't leave any stones unturned".

While there is yet no evidence Nabra was targeted because she was a Muslim, Sharif said she has been "more careful" since the fatal attack. He's being held without bail on a second-degree murder charge.

Hassanen was murdered early Sunday morning as she walked with a group of teens to a mosque in Fairfax County. His public defender's office has declined to comment, according to the Associated Press.

The number of anti-Muslim incidents in the United States jumped 57% in 2016, going 2,213 incidences up from 1,409 in 2015, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a report issued in May.

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Memorial for slain Muslim teen girl is torched