Fairfax County’s top prosecutor said his office is still investigating the possibility of a hate crime in the murder of Nabra Hassanen. That’s despite Fairfax County Police announcing the 17-year-old’s death as a road rage incident.
CAIR, the national American-Muslim activist group, slammed the police outcome calling it “premature.” Even Hassanen’s father told reporters he thought his daughter was targeted for her Muslim clothing—her hijab. Still, the victim’s father stood with religious leaders as they set the record straight.
“We can’t speak for all of America, all of Northern Virginia, or even all of Reston or Herndon, but the relationship that ADAMS has with law enforcement is one of trust and respect,” said Joshua Salaam, the mosque chaplin at ADAMS—or the All Dulles Area Muslim Society.
Salaam said they have been in close communication with Fairfax County’s police chief and believe a thorough investigation will be done.
The teen’s father broke down in tears before addressing the media Tuesday afternoon. ADAMS Imam Mohamed Magid held Mr. Hassanen’s hand at one point. “We’re all in shock,” he said.
The Tuesday news conference was not only to set the record straight, but to also show there is interfaith support. Rabbi Michael Holzman said Nabra went to the same schools as his loved ones.
“The idea that this kind of hatred exists in our community terrifies all of us” Holzman said.
The teen’s murder happened within the last 10 days of Ramadan, one of the holiest months of the year. That’s when ADAMS Muslim leaders say their focus is on God and of doing good things.
“Having this tragedy coincide in the time of Ramadan. It resonates that feeling even more. It resonates that concept even more, that we have to be the good-doers and we have to extend our good hand to everyone,” said ADAMS spokesperson, Hurannessa Fariad.
It’s what Salaam says Nabra did.
“She always told them to give to people in need, even if it’s your last dollar,” he told the crowd of reporters, speaking about what Nabra’s peers learned from the young victim.
Emotions deepened as everyone prepared for Wednesday’s funeral services. The funeral prayer service, called Janazah, will begin at the ADAMS Center Mosque at 1:30 p.m. Then at 6:30 p.m., a large community vigil will take place at the Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Va.