April 15, 2012
Shaima Alawadi murder no longer a hate crime?
I missed a big development in the death of Shaima Alawadi. (Thanks to George for pointing it out.) When news broke last month that the mother of five had died after being beaten to death in her home, one detail of the crime scene garnered international attention and sent a shockwave through Muslim immigrant communities:
But as the police conducted their investigation, new details emerged, as this piece from Salon reports:
KGTV further reported that while Fatima was being interviewed by investigators, she received a text message that read, “The detective will find out tell them cnt (can’t) talk.”
It’s now a lot less clear whether police are investigating a hate crime or a collapsing family. (“Collapsing” doesn’t seem to do it justice but I can’t think of anything extreme enough to convey family dynamics that could be so broken as to motivate matricide.) The latter, like the Muslim TV exec who beheaded his wife because she wanted a divorce, would make Alawadi’s death more a crime against women, Nina Burleigh writes for Time:
That remains to be seen.
As for Fatima and Alawadi’s husband: They were last in Iraq, where they traveled for her burial.