Funeral, vigil reveal depth of sorrow at Muslim girl's death

Someone set the memorial of a 17-year-old girl, killed in a horrific act of violence, on fire

Police later identified the suspect in Nabra's murder as Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, also of Sterling.

"At this time, the incident does not appear to be motivated by bias", a police spokeswoman told the New York Daily News.

Charred remains of a memorial for Nabra Hassanen.

Hassanen encountered Torres when she was walking with a group of her friends to All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center, one of the largest mosques in the country. He eventually abducted Hassanen and took her into his vehicle, while her friends ran to a nearby mosque to get help.

"It's disgusting, the fact that this is being investigated as a road-rage incident as opposed to being a hate crime", said Baidan Ali, 20, of Annandale.

The makeshift memorial for Hassanen was erected on Tuesday during a vigil in DuPont Circle, a historic area in the United States capital near the White House, as part of a nationwide remembrance.

Despite her father's convictions, police said they have no evidence to indicate the killing was motivated by race or religion.

Hassanen's name went viral this week when she and a group of teenagers were chased and attacked by Darwin Martinez Torres near their mosque in Sterling, Virginia.

Torres was charged with murder Sunday afternoon.

Nabra's father, Mahmoud Hassanen, said he believed it was a hate crime, regardless of what the police have said.


The vigil, organized by the Council on American-Islamic Relations-Florida and the Islamic Foundation of South Florida, came on the same day thousands gathered to pay their final respects to the 17-year-old in Virginia. The young graphic artist says Hassanen's slaying hit close to home.

Chaudry said that when a Muslim commits a crime, officials are quick to treat it as an act of terror, but when the perpetrator is not Muslim, police seem to approach it differently.

"As a society, we need to feel there is a certain level of dignity and safety that everybody can expect", he said.

"When you see an attack against one community, it has to be viewed as an attack against all communities", said Randal Cutter, a pastor at New Dawn Community Church in Coral Springs. Police say Nabra was assaulted and abducted near the intersection of Dranesville Road and Woodson Drive, which is just east of the Fairfax/Loudoun county line.

Fairfax County Police did say "Torres took Nabra in his vehicle to a second location nearby in Loudoun County".

A donation page set up to support Hassanen's family has already raised more than $300,000 as of Wednesday morning.

Nabra Hassanen, 17, was bludgeoned with a baseball bat on Sunday by a motorist who drove up to about 15 Muslim teens in Fairfax County, Virginia.

- Noura Erakat (@4noura) June 21, 2017Hell is empty, all the devils are here.

"We want every possible motive there is to be brought on the table, even if there is [only a] 0.5 percent chance that it's a hate crime - we want it on the table", Fariad said.

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