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Mother of five beaten to death for being a Muslim immigrant

by Brad A. Greenberg

March 25, 2012 | 5:19 pm

Horrible news has shaken Muslims in San Diego. From the U-T:

An Iraqi immigrant and mother of five died Saturday of injuries from a severe beating in her El Cajon home, where a note warning the family to “go back to your own country” was left next to her.

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“People who have heard of it are numb,” said Hanif Mohebi, executive director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on Islamic-American Relations. “I have had communications from the San Francisco Bay Area asking, ‘how can I help this family,’ and even around the country people are praying for the family.

“Given the fact of these notes left, we’re obviously concerned about the possibility of a hate crime. I don’t think anyone would disagree this is a coldblooded murder.”

Shaima Alawadi, 32, was found unconscious in her home Wednesday morning. She was taken off life support yesterday. The note found next to her body reportedly said: “Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.”

Alawadi’s status as a “terrorist” appears to have been tied entirely to the facts that she was an Iraqi-borne Muslim who wore the hijab. That’s it.

It’s disgusting, and it is no surprise that global condemnation has been pronounced online. Many have drawn a parallel between the the beating death of Alawadi and the shooting of Trayvon Martin. For instance, NPR’s Andy Carvin tweeted: “Curious to hear your thoughts on this, @GeraldoRivera. Is wearing a hijab as dangerous as a hoodie? http://ow.ly/1JaCoJ #RIPShaima.”

Though on their face, the two deaths look different, they both come from the same hateful place—it’s just that one was motivated by race and the other by religion.

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