FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia on Monday blamed road rage for the killing of a teenage Muslim girl who was allegedly attacked by a driver while walking with friends to her mosque between Ramadan prayers this weekend.
The girl’s father, Mohmoud Hassanen Aboras of Reston, said he doesn’t understand how this could have happened, because he said his daughter, 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, was a friend to everyone.
Police charged 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres with murder after pulling a young woman’s body from a pond.
Detectives have so far found no indication of a link “between the victim’s faith or religious beliefs or the mosque and the crime itself,” Fairfax County Police Spokesman Don Gotthardt told The Associated Press.
“This tragic case appears to be the result of a road rage incident involving the suspect, who was driving and who is now charged with murder, and a group of teenagers who was walking and riding bikes in and along a roadway,” a police statement said.
The lack of a hate crime investigation provoked deep skepticism among some American Muslims.
Abas Sherif, a spokesman for the victim’s family, said Nabra and all the other girls in her group were wearing Muslim head coverings and loose Islamic robes when the driver approached.
“Road rage. Indeed. If you think for a minute that her appearance had nothing to do with this crime, you’re lying to yourself,” tweeted attorney Rabia Chaudry, a prominent Muslim activist who lives in the Washington suburbs.
According to police and witnesses, the attack happened as Hassanen and her friends were walking back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque from a McDonald’s in the Sterling area between 3 and 4 a.m. on Sunday.
ADAMS is one of the largest mosques in the country, and is particularly busy during Ramadan. Observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, and since Ramadan this year overlaps with the summer solstice, and sunrise occurs well before 6 a.m., some Muslims will eat large meals…