UPDATE (May 19, 2020) – Three men were arrested in connection to the killing of Aya Hachem. Police believe that Aya was not the intended target of the attack, and is continuing the investigation further.
A 19-year-old Muslim woman was gunned down in a suspected drive-by shooting in Blackburn, UK as she was walking home from grocery shopping. The Lebanese-British victim was later identified as Aya Hachem on social media.
The suspect shot Hachem from a green Toyota Avensis and fled the scene. The vehicle was later found by law enforcement a mile away from the shooting.
Detective Chief Inspector Jonathan Holmes, of the Force Major Investigation Team, said: “An investigation has been launched and we are determined to find those responsible – and we are asking for the public’s help identifying the offender or offenders.”
Incidents as such is not unfamiliar for Muslim women, especially those who wear the hijab headscarf. On June 18, 2017, 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen was followed, killed and raped by a man during the month of Ramadan in the United States.
According to a study by the Home Office, which was published on The Guardian, almost half of religious hate crime offenses in the United Kingdom were of Muslims.
“This is a truly shocking and senseless killing, which has robbed a young woman of her life.”
As the search continues, Twitter users make #RIPAYA trends online in hopes to bring attention to this situation, as mainstream media has not reported on this incident.
Inna illahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon. May the victim and her family find justice.
The news of Aya being murdered has really unsettled me... a sister left her house for groceries, only to never return. May Allah grant her the highest of heavens and may Allah alleviate the pain and suffering of all her loved ones, ameen. #RIPAYA— 5 (@5ivehad) May 17, 2020
Being a hijabi in this day and age is so dangerous. That shooting wasn’t ‘senseless.’ That shooter is a terrorist and he should be made accountable. Praying for the safety of my sisters. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon, May Allah grant her the highest rank in Jannah🕊 #RipAya— Naz🥭 £18 AWAY FROM £5.3k! (@maaaaangooo) May 18, 2020
I cannot believe this murder is not being covered more. It’s bad enough that the BBC have neglected to mention the victim wore a hijab. But there’s no sight of this story anywhere. This is tragic, a 20 year old girl lost her life #ripaya https://t.co/QwBwedTkE3— Bethandknee (@bethandknee) May 17, 2020