WASHINGTON — The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington will hold a vigil in memory of Nabra Hassanen, a 17-year-old Muslim girl killed after leaving her mosque with friends in northern Virginia.
“Now it is time for us to express our deepest sympathy and stand with our brothers and sisters in the Muslim community as we all come to terms with this tragic event,” the JCRC said in a statement Monday.
The vigil will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Lake Anne Plaza in Reston, Virginia.
The JCRC “has enjoyed a decades-long relationship with the ADAMS Center, working hand-in-hand to promote interfaith understanding and combat bigotry against any faith or ethnicity,” the release said.
ADAMS is the acronym for the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, the mosque that Hassanen had worshipped at in suburban Washington, D.C., in the pre-dawn hours Sunday before heading to a restaurant with friends for breakfast. Muslims fast from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadan.
Police in Fairfax County do not believe bias was involved in the killing, describing it instead as a road rage incident. Police allege that Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, got into an argument with a teen in the group as the friends returned to the mosque, drove his car over a curb, chased the group and used a baseball bat to hit Hassanen in a parking lot nearby. Torres has been charged with one count of second-degree murder.
The Washington Post quoted family members as saying they remain convinced it was a hate crime against Muslims.
The attack has garnered international attention because of a proliferation in recent weeks of reports of attacks targeting Muslims. The Anti-Defamation League called on police to investigate the incident as a hate crime.