No Evidence of Hate Crime Against Virginia Muslim High School Student: Police

By Bill Pan
Bill Pan
Bill Pan
Reporter
December 21, 2021 Updated: December 22, 2021

There’s no evidence that an alleged assault on a female Muslim high school student in Fairfax, Virginia was a hate crime, local police said.

The Dec. 14 incident involved a male student at Fairfax High School, who reportedly pushed a female Muslim student to the ground, pulled off her hijab, and beat her up, while calling her racial slurs, according to the advocacy group Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Sophomore student Ekran Mohamed, the victim of the alleged Islamophobic attack, told WUSA9 News that she hasn’t been able to eat because of stress and disgust stemming from the assault. “It is for every Hijabi out there, every Muslim girl and every Muslim person out there,” she told the CBS affiliate. “It is a daily thing that we go through.”

The perpetrator of the purported hate crime was not punished and “continued threatening other students,” the CAIR claimed. The organization called for a police investigation, and that the “alleged assailant must be suspended while the investigation takes place.”

An investigation conducted by the Fairfax Police Department, however, has found no evidence suggesting it was a hate crime.

“The police investigation determined the physical altercation between two Fairfax High School students was not a hate crime. The investigation revealed there were no racial comments made by either student,” the police department stated.

The police also noted that Mohamed admitted that social media posts claiming the racial comments that were used during the incident were false.

“The female student confirmed her hijab became partially undone during the altercation, exposing her hair. The female student advised that the information posted on several social media sites, stating that racial comments were [sic] used during the altercation were false,” the Dec. 18 police statement concluded.

Abed Ayoub, the lawyer representing Mohamed, argued it was too early for the police to rule out hate crime charges.

“There’s multiple witnesses who can attest to racist and Islamophobic comments and overtures being made immediately prior to the incident into the assault,” Ayoub said, reported radio station WTOP. He didn’t say whether the witnesses will testify on behalf of his client.

The incident has also triggered a protest at Fairfax High School, during which hundreds of students skipped classes to join the walkout in support of the alleged victim. Fairfax County Public Schools told WTOP that around 350 students at the school “exercised their right to protest following an incident between two students that took place in school. … Fairfax County Public Schools and City of Fairfax Schools support the rights of students to peacefully protest.”

Bill Pan
Reporter