Virginia Teen Assaulted and Killed After Leaving Mosque | Sojourners

Virginia Teen Assaulted and Killed After Leaving Mosque

A 17-year-old American Muslim girl was abducted, beaten, and killed after leaving a mosque in northern Virginia on Sunday, police said.

The attack happened early on Sunday near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque — the largest mosque in the northern Virginia area with 10 days left in the holy month of Ramadan. The victim, identified by the mosque and relatives as Nabra Hassanen, and several friends were walking outside the mosque when they got into a dispute with a motorist in the community of Sterling, the Fairfax County Police Department said in a statement.

Police say the motorist got out of the car and assaulted Hassanen.

She was reported missing by the group of teenagers, who scattered during the assault, and authorities conducted a search of the area. At 3 p.m. on Sunday, the remains of a woman believed to be the victim were found in a pond in Sterling, Va.

During the search for the missing teen, authorities stopped a motorist "driving suspiciously in the area" and arrested the driver, later identified as identified as Darwin Martinez Torres, 22.

Fairfax County police have obtained a warrant that charges Torres with Hassanen’s death, but said in a statement on Monday morning that they were not investigating the murder as a hate crime.

The number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the United States jumped 57 percent in 2016 to 2,213, up from 1,409 in 2015, the Council on American-Islamic Relations advocacy group said in a report last month.

A vigil has been organized by the South Lakes High School Muslim Students Association on June 21 in Reston, Va., where Hassanen lived.

As of Monday morning, a crowdfunding page had raised more than $156,000 for Hassanen's family.

ADAMS released this statement soon after the incident saying:

We are devastated and heartbroken as our community undergoes and processes this traumatic event. It is a time for us to come together to pray and care for our youth.

In the Islamic tradition, it is reported that the Beloved Prophet Muhammad said, “There are three supplications that are never rejected, the supplication of the parent for their child, the supplication of the person who is fasting, and the supplication of a traveler.” We ask all community members to sincerely pray for our dear daughter, sister, and friend.

Imam Mohamed Magid, ADAMS Executive Imam, will address the community at prayers at the mosque tonight.

Activist and leaders have responded to the attack in great numbers.

Reuters reporting contributed to this story.