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Muslim girl killed walking to mosque for Ramadan prayers

A man accused of killing a teenage Muslim girl appeared in a Virginia court on Monday morning to face a murder charge, the court clerk’s office said, as police said the killing was not being investigated as a hate crime.But in two subsequent tweets posted on Monday, the Fairfax County Police Department insisted that Hassanen’s murder was connected to road rage, not a hate crime, although the brutality of the attack and public details of the incident make a good case for it being classified as such.”I think it had to do with the way she was dressed and the fact that she’s Muslim”, Hassanen’s mother told the newspaper in a statement.Nabra Hassanen and her friends were on their way back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center in Sterling, Virginia, after eating breakfast at IHOP at about 3.30am local time, the Washington Post reports, citing the police and ADAMS.According to the friends who were with Hassanen at the time of the assault, Torres encountered the teens in his vehicle as they were walking home from a Sterling, VA IHOP where they had stopped to eat after celebrating Ramadan at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS).Police obtained a murder warrant that charges Torres for her death, the Fairfax County Police Department said.The girl, 17, was walking with a group of friends during the predawn hours on Sunday in Herndon, Va., when they got into a dispute with a man in a auto, the police said.Police say the Egyptian-American girl died of blunt force trauma to the upper body after 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres of El Salvador attacked her with a baseball bat in a Washington suburb. FCPD Underwater Search and Recovery Unit members recovered Nabra’s body from a pond in Loudoun County Sunday evening. The driver, Martinez Torres, was taken into custody, police said.Hassanen was asked by The Guardian if he believed his daughter’s Muslim religion was a factor in the attack.”I was definitely very anxious about having them be outside of the mosque unattended”, said Mahmood.Hate crimes against Muslims in the United States rose by 57% in 2016, to 2,213, up from 1,409 in 2015, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations.Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, expressed solidarity with the Muslim center and said a prayer vigil would held on Wednesday at a high school.She eventually became separated from her friends, who ran away from the scene and called the police after they realized she was missing, according to authorities.”Why was he running behind the kids wearing Islamic clothes with a baseball stick?” her father said.An ICE spokeswoman issued a statement Monday confirming that ICE has issued a detainer request, indicating probable cause that Torres was in the country illegally, The Daily Caller reported.”This is a hate crime”, he said.Was it a hate crime?