Thousands mourn death of Muslim teen ‘Nabra Hassanen’ in Virginia

22 Jun 2017

About 5,000 mourners have attended the funeral of a Muslim girl whose beating death, blamed by police on a motorist’s road rage, has some people in her community fearing for their safety.

Nabra Hassanen, 17, was kidnapped from near a mosque in northern Virginia and was beaten to death by a man named Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, with a baseball bat early Sunday.

“There is nothing like losing a child, especially in the way that we lost Nabra,” said Imam Mohamed Magid, the religious leader of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society. He stood before Hassanen’s closed coffin, covered by a black shroud decorated with quotes from the Quran.

Hassanen was remembered as a shining example of kindness and openness during the services.

Police said the killing was being investigated as a road rage incident. But Nabra’s father has rejected the police theory and said his daughter was attacked because she was Muslim. According to some reports, the teenager might have been raped before she was murdered.

An overflow area at the funeral was itself overflowing with people who came to show their solidarity. The crowd overwhelmed suburban traffic, and cars jammed into neighborhood streets more than a mile away to park.

Most mourners were Muslim, but Christians and Jews attended as well. The ADAMS Center, one of the largest mosques in the country, has a long history of interfaith outreach and activism, and ADAMS board chair Rizwan Jaka said there has been “just a tremendous outpouring of support” from people of all faiths.

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