US police not to Egyptian girl’s murder as “hate crime”

A 17-year-old American-Muslim girl with Egyptian origins was murdered on Monday after being beaten, and kidnapped in front of a mosque in Virginia.

An Egyptian foreign ministry statement said Tuesday that the Egyptian embassy in Washington is in contact with the family of Nabra Hassanen, the victim, and is following up on the investigation.

Hassanen was leaving a restaurant with her friends when a stranger drove up and insulted them. The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), a local community center, said that its members saw the teenagers and directed them to their building. However, Hassanein began to quarrel with the offender. The man then got out of his vehicle, wielding a baseball bat, and attacked Hassanein before disappearing with her.

Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, has been arrested and charged with Hassanen’s murder in an incident which police say began as a “road dispute” with one of the male teenagers of Hassanen’s group.

“It appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence,” Fairfax County police spokesperson Julie Parker said at a news conference on Monday.

Parker said there was no indication the attack near the All Dulles Area Muslim Society mosque early on Sunday was motivated by race or religion.

Meanwhile, there has been a heated debate in the Muslim community in the states as to whether her killing should be tried as a hate crime or not.

Hassanen’s father, Mahmoud, told reporters he believes “100 percent” that his daughter was targeted for her religion. The victim was dressed in an abaya – a traditional robe worn by some Muslim women – at the time of her abduction.