It seems like this was the weekend of news that could break us. Besides Charleena Lyles being murdered by police, and more Trumpcare nonsense, a 17-year-old Muslim girl in Virginia was assaulted, abducted, and killed as she was going home after attending her local mosque, according to multiple reports.
Nabra Hassanen had been at IHOP with her friends, eating before the Ramadan fast. At this point, a man got out of his car and assaulted her with a metal bat. The other teens left the scene, frightened and ran back to their mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in Sterling. No one saw her after this. And then, the worst news possible: a body was found in a pond in the area.
22-year-old man Darwin Martinez Torres has been since charged with the murder, which Fairfax Country Police has said was not a “hate crime.” The report went on to say:
“Police department spokesperson Don Gotthardt told The Independent there was “no indication” that the crime was connected to Ms Hassanen’s religion, dress, or proximity to the mosque.”
Despite that, Arsalan Iftikhar, a human rights lawyer, told The Independent that the Muslim community in northern Virginia is absolutely petrified for themselves and their children, stating:
“People are petrified, especially people who have young Muslim daughters.”
While we have no real “proof” the attack was a hate crime, we also can understand that it creates a true environment of fear. As the Washington Post noted, prominent anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise:
Last month, two men on a Portland train were stabbed and killed after they intervened to protect two girls who were being harassed with anti-Muslim threats, according to authorities.
Sunday night, a van struck a crowd of pedestrians, including worshipers leaving a pair of mosques in London. Witnesses said the pedestrians were struck as they departed late-night prayers.
And considering this happened the same day as Charleena Lyles’ murder, it definitely feels to me like the country’s underbelly of racism and violence is bubbling up to the surface.