Nabra Hassanen Memorial on Fire

The killing, the details of which are still trickling out, came Sunday. They said Nabra's accused killer, 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, was violent with road rage. "Witnesses say [Martinez] Torres caught up with them a short time later in a nearby parking lot and got out of his vehicle armed with a baseball bat and began chasing the group". The Washington Post reports that Nabra's mother said a detective told her Nabra had tripped over the abaya she was wearing and fell to the ground just before Torres struck her with the bat. Torres began chasing the group, and he eventually caught up with Hassanen. "His anger over the encounter led to violence when he hit Nabra [Hassanen] with a baseball bat".

Nabra's body was found in a Loudoun pond. A 22-year-old Virginia man was held on a murder charge Monday in the slaying of the girl, who was attacked during a breakfast break from an all-night prayer session at her mosque. The flames were put out, and officials say they are investigating the incident.

Many outside observers are skeptical of the police's conclusion, especially Muslims who say the case looks much like a hate crime. But Roessler acknowledged that some in the community believe police should explore the possibility it was a hate crime.

To deny that Islamophobia and anti-Muslim violence is a real - and unsafe - occurrence is to try and deny, discredit, and silence the experiences of Muslims - particularly women - in the West, who face violence because we are Muslim.

However, for Nabra's father there is no doubt his daughter was "killed because she's a Muslim".

The memorial was being held for the 16-year-old teen who was killed in an apparent hate crime while coming home during Ramadan.

Most hate crime cases are handled by state prosecutors and typically carry stiffer penalties than crimes charged without a bias component.

Her funeral is planned for Wednesday afternoon, with a private burial to follow.

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Police in Virginia are continuing to investigate Sunday's fatal attack on a teenage Muslim girl. Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler says investigators are working to determine whether Hassanen may also have been sexually assaulted.

Outside ADAMS Center, people attending the funeral said that regardless of the specific circumstances of Hassanen's case, it has left them fearful for their families' safety.

"If you knew her you might possibly know why it was so hard for this community", said Salaam. "An angel was taken".

Hassanen's father said he hopes his community will "express love always to one another" regardless of religion or race.

Funeral services are being held at the ADAMS Center in Sterling Wednesday for 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen. "She is wearing hijab and goes to another mosque".

"Where is Nabra?" she keeps asking, Mohmoud said during an emotional interview. "She was a very nice girl". "I would never feel that she will always be safe".

"You think you know someone because of what people say about them, but if people got to know each other, got to know people of different backgrounds", she said, "a lot of the hatred-fueled acts like this wouldn't exist".

The support from non-Muslims such as Chadwell was heartening for Amina Nahavandi, 20, who said it is critical people continue to interact with those with whom they have little experience.

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