In Virginia, the remains of Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl, were found on Sunday. The man responsible was arrested soon after and has been charged with murder. Nabra and her friends had been at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society for a late night prayer, a common occurrence during Ramadan, and decided to get food before their fast. They had been returning to the mosque from IHOP in the early hours of Sunday. Nabra was wearing an abaya, a traditional Muslim dress-like garment, and talking outside the mosque with her friends when a motorist drove up to them. Her friends ran into the mosque, and when they looked back she wasn’t there. A detective told Nabra’s mother that while she was running, she must've tripped on her dress, and that was when the suspect, Darwin Martinez Torres, struck her with a metal bat before taking her. Her remains were found in a nearby pond the next day and a suspicious motorist in the area was arrested. Torres is being charged with murder, but this isn’t being treated as a hate crime.
Her family and community believe otherwise. The community mourns the loss of a young girl and feels that the attack was related to the fact that the teens were outside a mosque and that Nabra was wearing clothes that made her easily identifiable as Muslim. They see it as an attack on the Muslim community and believe that it should be treated as a hate crime. They have increased the security in their mosque, which has become common in mosques across the country as hate crimes and attack increase.
The Muslim community has been under attack and some believe that Trump is to blame. His rhetoric on the campaign trail, along with the Muslim Ban and suggested registry, have validated some people’s misconceptions about Muslims. In some cases, people arrested for hate crimes have even cited Trump in their explanation. According to The New York Times, hate crimes against American Muslims are at the highest it’s been since after 9/11. Recently, two people were killed in Portland for defending two women who were being harassed because one of them was Muslim. In London, attacks on the London Bridge provided people with an opportunity to denounce Islam in general and attack the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who is Muslim. London took their tragedy and came together in efforts to help each other while some wanted it to divide them. Londoners used social media to offer up their homes and cars to people who were stranded. In a time when ignorant behavior is so prevalent, it is important to be an ally to the Muslim community and educate yourself.
Photo Credit: LaunchGood
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