Egypt’s top prosecutor will launch an investigation into the murder of Nabra Hassanein, an American Muslim girl of Egyptian descent who was murdered last month, after being kidnapped in front of a mosque in Virginia and beaten to death.
Hassanein was leaving a restaurant with her friends when a stranger drove up and insulted them. The All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS), a nearby 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.
The Egyptian prosecutor general’s office said that it would send a request to US judicial authorities for official documents from the investigation into the incident, including forensic reports.
Following the attack, Egypt’s foreign ministry said it was monitoring developments in the case through the embassy in Washington DC.
The culprit was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and murder of Hassanen.
The brutal assault has alarmed the surrounding Muslim community and echoed worldwide with calls for a hate-crime investigation.
“We heard about this type of hatred. We never thought it was going to happen in our neighborhood,” said Rehab Saad, who lives in the same apartment complex as the Hassanein family.
“Muslim and Christian kids in this neighborhood grow up together. We’re all family.”
Darwin Martinez Torres, a 22-year-old from El Salvador — suspected of residing in the US illegally, is being held without bail on a murder charge.
Hassanein’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.
Egypt’s Al-Azhar has condemned the murder, warning of a “worrying growth in Islamophobia” that is threatening the lives of Muslims in Western countries.
The number of anti-Muslim hate-crimes in the US in 2016 stood at a striking 2,213 occurrences, up 57 percent from the 1,409 in 2015, according to a recent report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.