Jewish Journal


March 25, 2012

Mother of five beaten to death for being a Muslim immigrant


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.


“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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