Thousands attend slain Muslim teen's funeral in Virginia

"This is a hate crime", Mahmoud Hassanen said.

The crowd overwhelmed suburban traffic, and cars jammed into neighborhood streets more than a mile away to park. She says crisis support also will be available in the coming days.

The group says that anti-Muslim incidents have increased after the election of US President Donald Trump in November.

Police said the incident occurred at about 3:40 a.m. Sunday, when a group of teenagers was heading to an overnight event at a mosque.

Most of the mourners were Muslim, but Christians and Jews attended as well. "Love is stronger than any hate that tries to stop us", said attendee Elayne Burke.

"Yes, that is what I believe".

Darwin Martinez Torres, a 22-year-old from Sterling, Virginia, has been charged with murder in connection with Hassanen's death.

Nabra Hassanen of Reston in what police are calling a deadly case of road rage, according to the Fairfax County Police Department. A pond where the body of a teenage Muslim girl was found is shown on Monday, June 19, 2017, in Sterling, Va. Her body was found in a pond one county over, where she was assaulted a second time, and police are investigating whether or not she was sexually assaulted during one of the attacks.

The Reston teenager's father said he believes Nabra was killed because she was wearing an abaya, a traditional black cloak.

Torres has been charged with murder and faces a maximum punishment of life in prison.

"I have two daughters".

She is being buried at the nearby Sterling Cemetery.

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It is unclear what drove Martinez Torres to allegedly commit the grisly, senseless murder but police have said they have not come across any evidence to support hate crime charges beyond the murder charge he is facing.

At the same time, he said there are people in the Muslim community who are less concerned with the legalities of what constitutes a hate crime and have a more visceral reaction. "God tells us in the Koran that we must respond to bad with good".

A newer report from CAIR, the Council for American Islamic Relations, the largest Muslim civil rights advocacy in the United States, reports that anti-Muslim incidents were up by 57 per cent in 2016.

Hundreds of people turned out to the afternoon funeral prayer service for slain Muslim teen Nabra Hassanen, who was brutally attacked and killed with a baseball bat early Sunday.

Fairfax police said Martinez Torres and one of the boys in the group got into an argument, and the motorist chased the youngsters down and got out swinging the bat.

Authorities said that Hassanen and a group of friends encountered Torres, who confronted them while they walked near a Fairfax County mosque in the early hours of Sunday morning.

"This is a hate crime", he said.

She is now gone, and in the midst of that raw, visceral absence, Mohmoud said he does not want other families to experience the pain he is going through.

Joshua Salaam, a chaplain at the ADAMS Center, said police "have given us complete confidence" but the community is struggling because Hassanen was beloved by so many and known for her kind spirit.

Hassanen's father remains convinced her religion drew the attacker to her.

While waiting for a vigil after the teen's funeral and burial, Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. spoke with The Associated Press about the community's concerns.

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