Many of those attending said they felt compelled to come after hearing about the attack in the news and on social media.
"Such incidents send shock waves through the entire community and have the potential to make communities feel unsafe and vulnerable", Doron F. Ezickson, the ADL's Washington regional director, said in a statement. "It's a time in this country that we are seeing a lot of this kind of activity and it reinforces negative stereotypes".
Leaders of the ADAMS mosque held a news conference Tuesday evening, offering memories of Nabra and saying they had faith authorities would leave no stone unturned in determining whether a hate crime occurred. Hassanen was remembered as a shining example of kindness and openness during the services. This photo provided by the Fairfax County Police Department shows Darwin Martinez Torres, of Sterling, Va. Martinez Torres was held on a murder charge Monday, June 19, 2017, in the slaying of a teenage Muslim. "My daughter fell down".
Hassanen's friends urged the public not to forget her name, and it's important that we don't - not just because Hassanen was a bright young girl whose life needlessly ended too soon, but because Muslim women should not have to endure violence or harassment simply due to their religion.
"I think it was definitely scary for everyone in our area and Muslims in general", Salehi said. "She went with a group of friends from the mosque to get food", said Kashif Osman, with The Light House Project. "I just want people to pray for her". According to some reports, the teenager might have been raped before she was murdered.
Vigils for Hassanen were held at Dupont Circle and in other major cities Tuesday, with more planned for Wednesday.
Still, justice advocacy groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, are encouraging police to not dismiss the possibility of a hate crime. An autopsy found that Nabra suffered blunt-force trauma to her upper body.
Early Sunday, Hassanen was walking with a group of approximately 15 teenagers who were on their way back to the All Dulles Area Muslim Society after stopping at a McDonald's.
While many didn't know Hassanen personally, her death has shaken the Muslim community and mourners believe she was targeted because of her religion.
However, the attacks on Hassanen and her memorial have caused some to suspect bigotry was a factor. Although the horrific details of Hassanen's death have led authorities to determine that there was no evidence of a hate crime, the freshly discovered vandalism of Hassanen's memorial site only makes this awful story even worse. "It's racism. Getting killed because she's Muslim".
But after a string of attacks on Muslims around the world, most recently in London and in Portland, Oregon, some are deeply skeptical. He does not, however, face hate crime charges. "We'll be working with law enforcement to see if there was any bias to this action, or if it was just a random act", Hooper said from Hassanen's funeral on Wednesday, where an estimated 5,000 people paid their respects.
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