The death of a Muslim teenager in Virginia whose body was found in a pond some 12 hours after she and a group of friends got into an altercation with a driver while walking back to a mosque from an IHOP is "NOT" being investigated as a hate crime, per a tweet from Fairfax County police on Monday. No elaboration was given. But that hasn't kept a religious bent out of discussion of and reactions to Nabra Hassanen's killing. As the Washington Post puts it, "the issue was on the minds of many Muslims on Sunday." The latest:
- A police press release on the arrest of Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, says that as Nabra and her friends were walking "they got into a dispute with a man in a car." Torres allegedly exited his car and assaulted Nabra. "Her friends could not find her and police were called to help."
- The Washington Post talks to Nabra's mother, who says a detective said her daughter was beaten with a metal bat. "I lost my daughter, my first reason for happiness,” she said Sunday night. WUSA9 reports police did recover a bat.
- "What investigators told the father and the mother, he hit her in the head and put her in the car and he threw her in the water," the Richmond Times-Dispatch quotes a rep for the family as saying. It reports Martinez Torres directed officers to the pond, which it says is near the apartment he lives in.
- The Post fills in some details on the girls' movements, reporting that during the final 10 days of the holy month of Ramadan, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in Sterling, Va., holds extra prayers at midnight and 2am. The mosque is one of the largest in the US, and ADAMS' co-chair says it is commonplace for members to have a meal at McDonald’s or IHOP in advance of the day's fast, which runs from sunrise to sunset.
- Nabra, a rising high school junior, was not particularly religious and did not usually wear Muslim dress, according to her mother, who lent Nabra an abaya to wear to the mosque Saturday night. She tells the Post a detective told her that during the fateful encounter, Nabra tripped over the long garment and fell.
- Bustle reports that while this may not be a hate crime, the number of anti-Muslim hate groups did spike in 2016 to 101, about triple the number the Southern Poverty Law Center recorded in 2015.
- Mindy Kaling was one of the celebrities to post about Nabra (in this case, before police specified it was not a hate crime investigation), writing on Facebook, "Nabra Hassanen, I won't forget you and what happened to you. Another innocent Muslim person targeted for their faith. Please read about her if you can."
- A crowdfunding campaign for Nabra's family has raised more than $178,000 as of this writing.
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