Muslims at Berkeley University in California insist a teen was killed by a passing motorist due to Islamophobia, despite a police ruling to the contrary.
The UC-Berkeley Muslim Student Association just held a vigil for Muslim teen Nabra Hassanen, who was killed on June 18 in an assault by motorist Darwin Martinez Torres.
Torres is an illegal immigrant, and he was charged with murder.
But police didn’t affix a “hate crime” tag, because they said Islamophobia wasn’t a factor. Apparently, Muslims at the school don’t believe police and insist the crime was part and parcel of an anti-Islam belief they see as pervading U.S. society.
Law enforcement officials charged Torres, an illegal immigrant, with murder. They call the incident one of “road rage” and say there’s no evidence by which to call it a hate crime.
The Berkeley MSA isn’t buying that, however. Chapter President Sarah Bellal said “Hopefully in recognizing who [Hassanen] was, we can also recognize the realities of racism, misogyny and Islamophobia and their intersections.”
And more, from the Daily Californian:
Participants at the vigil […] said they believe that the incident was a hate crime….
Emily Gottreich, a professor in the campus history department, alleged in an email she believes while this incident may have been instigated because of road rage, it is clearly an anti-Muslim and anti-female hate crime.
“Islamophobia (along with other forms of racism) has been latent in the US for a long time,” Gottreich said in an email. “Muslims are being targeted simply for practicing their religion during the holiest month of the year for them. It is unacceptable.”
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