Nabra Hassanen. I need you to say that name over and over until her story is embedded into your memory.
She was 17 years old, a sophomore at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia with her whole life in front of her. During the early hours of Sunday June 18, 2017, Nabra was walking home from her local mosque (The All Dulles Area Muslim Society, ADAMS’), one of the biggest in northern Virginia, when she was brutally murdered by a man swinging a baseball bat. Nabra’s friends have told the police that as they were walking home from the mosque, they got into a vocal altercation with a man in a car. The man then decided to get out of the car to assault Nabra. 22 year old Darwin Martinez Torres deserves no sympathy from the public, and what he did should be swiftly condemned by officials and treated as a hate crime.
Of course, this is America, and that’s not what’s happening. In fact, local officials have yet to investigate this incident as a hate crime. So far, Fairfax Officer Tawny Wright made a statement: “At this point, there doesn’t seem to be an indication that this was a bias incident. It looks like they got into a dispute over something.” What dispute could this intelligent hard working girl partake in that would later result in her being beaten to death with a baseball bat? And the most important question of all: would this have been her fate had she been born with white skin and a Christian upbringing?
Nabra Hassanen was killed because of her faith. Thousands of innocent girls and women are discriminated against and even killed for the same reason every day. Our orange leader has yet to make a statement condemning this hate crime, but he has let the people of his country know that “Camp David is a very special place. An honor to have spent the weekend there. Military runs it so well and are so proud of what they do!”
Let me make this as clear as I possibly can: Trump does not care about Muslim women. Trump’s administration will not protect Muslim women. To wait and expect them to is a waste of our time. We have to take care of each other, we have to protect each other. The police are an unreliable asset, they cannot be counted on.
Nabra deserved much better and this country has failed her. The least we can do now is make her death count for something. You can donate to help her family here. You can also, especially if you have an advantage in our society, use your voice to advocate for women of color. Speak out about how justice has gone unserved for many women. Offer change. You will never be alone Nabra, and I am certain you have a place in Jannah.
Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi Raaji’oon, To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.