How Can We Honor Nabra’s Legacy If We Don’t Call Islamophobia Out by Name?

How Can We Honor Nabra’s Legacy If We Don’t Call Islamophobia Out by Name?

TW: Mentions of kidnapping, rape, murder, and hate crimes.

June 18 marks two years since the tragic death of Nabra Hassanen.

Two years ago, when Nabra was walking home from her local mosque after night prayers during Ramadan, she was kidnapped, raped, and then beaten to death with a baseball bat. Her body was later found in a nearby pond.

The Virginia Police handling the case marked the incident as “road rage,” instead of a hate crime. The police spokeswoman stated, “it appears that the suspect became so enraged over this traffic argument that it escalated into deadly violence”.

Excuse me, WHAT??

Additionally, after the suspect pled guilty, he was only charged with second-degree murder.

Pardon my language, but all I have to say is: f *ck that. F*ck every officer that was involved in that case. F*ck that hateful rapist and murderer. F*ck all hateful rapists and murderers. F*ck the judge and the jury in charge of a . F*ck the media. F*ck Islamophobes. F*ck racists. F*ck them all.

We cannot keep denying the clear link between the murders of innocent Muslims and the Islamophobia of their murderers. tweet

When I read about Nabra for the first time, all I wanted to do was to scream. If she was alive, she would’ve been the same age as me. She would’ve been 19, probably in college, pursuing her dreams. But she didn’t get a chance. Not only was she robbed of this chance, but she was violated before and AFTER her death.

Her rapist didn’t get ANY charges specifically for raping her. Also, it was indicated that Nabra’s rapist and murderer was suffering from an “intellectual disability,” something that it seems every individual who commits a hate crime against a Muslim seems to suffer from! If the suspect was Muslim, you better believe he would have been handed a death penalty, as he deserved.

On top of that, a memorial for Nabra in Washington D.C.’s Dupont Circle was set on fire by a misguided soul named Jonathan Soloman. The twenty-something man from South Carolina was arrested, and when asked, the police said that they weren’t sure why the man was around, or why he did what he did. HOW ABOUT HATE? Does that sounds like a reason to you? Or does this case preclude “hate” because this disrespectful act was aimed towards an unheard Muslim victim of Islamophobia?

…the case of #OurThreeWinners was dismissed as a parking dispute, only to end in the Chapel Hill Police Chief, Chris Blue, issue a statement at the beginning of June indicating his regret for not calling that act of violence what it was: a hate crime. tweet

Last but not least, let’s not forget that the unspeakable crimes against Nabra were just brushed off as a freaking “road rage” incident. Just like the case of #OurThreeWinners was dismissed as a parking dispute, only to end in the Chapel Hill Police Chief, Chris Blue, issue a statement at the beginning of June indicating his regret for not calling that act of violence what it was: a hate crime. Just like the slaying of Mustafa Ayoubi was labeled little more than a road rage incident despite witness accounts that indicate his murderer was spewing Islamophobic rhetoric before he shot Mustafa twice.

That is just unacceptable! We cannot keep denying the clear link between the murders of innocent Muslims and the Islamophobia of their murderers. Would it have been a “road rage” if it was a Muslim attacking a white guy? Bet you not! It would’ve been labeled an act of terrorism in an instant, resulting in a whole new ban on immigrants. So, how about we take a look at the genders of all the murderers in question and com to the conclusion that we need a ban on men?  Oh, does that sound too generalist and unfair? Interesting…

All of this comes down to one question: is everyone treated with equity and liberty in the United States? Is anyone who isn’t white or Christian seen as “American”? Will there ever be a day that ethnic and religious minorities, Muslims in particular, won’t be be terrified of living a normal everyday life? Will there ever be a day when Muslims who lose their lives to the shadow of Islamophobia have their murderers called out for their toxic rhetoric? 

Imma leave those for y’all to answer. But when answering them, I want you think of the faces of women like Nabra who were brutally violated before their deaths. Does it make you sick? Good. Then go out there and be a goddamn change. 

Image courtesy of @yarashahidi
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