The body of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen of Reston, VA, was found about two miles away from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, where she had attended overnight Ramadan prayers.
The lack of a hate crime investigation provoked deep skepticism among some American Muslims.
So far, Fairfax County police said they have no indication that Nabra was targeted because of her religion, saying her killing was probably a "road rage incident", although they continue to investigate the motivation.
Hassanen was with a group of young people after late-night prayers at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) mosque when they were reportedly involved in an altercation with a 22-year-old driver, Darwin Martinez Torres.
"We think it's premature", said CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper. Especially not a week after nationwide protests in 30 United States cities against Muslims.
Nabra's family has said she was wearing a long women's garment known as an abaya and a hijab head covering.
Martinez Torres of Sterling was arraigned Monday in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and ordered held without bail pending a July 19 court appearance. "As soon as it was revealed that it was a Hispanic illegal alien responsible for the crime, authorities quickly announced there would be no consideration of "hate crimes" charges and the left dropped the story like a hot brick".
Police said the argument escalated and Torres pulled over, chased the group with a baseball bat and attacked Nabra.
Nabra went missing early Sunday morning while she and a group of teenagers made their way back to a mosque after having breakfast at a nearby restaurant. According to her autopsy, Hassanen suffered from blunt force trauma to the upper body, police said.
Nabra's body was found in a pond Sunday afternoon based on leads that police have not detailed.
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"You can't just say, 'Oh, he didn't say anything against Islam, so no hate crime, '" he said.
Al-Jazeera likewise admitted police were not investigating the crime as a hate crime before writing in bold print, "Surge in hate crimes", and claiming, "Anti-Muslim hate crimes have surged in recent years". But most differ on what acts qualify and some leave it to judges to decide whether to impose stiffer penalties at the time of sentencing.
"Such incidents send shock waves through the entire community and have the potential to make communities feel unsafe and vulnerable", said Doron F. Ezickson, the Washington D.C. regional director for the Anti-Defamation League. "We must come together to send an opposing message that all people, regardless of their religious or ethnic background, are safe, welcome and protected". "But if the attacker had been an American conservative, it would have been front-page news for a solid week or more".
Online, many expressed outrage over the decision by police not to investigate the incident as a hate crime.
Hassanen's father remains convinced her religion drew the attacker to her.
He added: "He was running behind these kids".
Alsalti says Hassanen's slaying hits close to home because he has a sister around her age who looks "just like her".
According to the AP, the victim's father, Mohmoud Hassanen Aboras, said the motive behind his daughter's death is of no interest to him. We know there was a lot of misinformation circulating, but we ask for your patience as we work diligently to share the facts rather than speculation. He doesn't know us.
A hate crime in Virginia is defined in part as a crime directed against a person because of the person's race, religion or national origin.
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