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Iraqi Woman’s Death May Not Be A Hate Crime

Aired 4/6/12 on KPBS News.

Newly released search warrant records show an Iraqi- American woman viciously beaten to death in her El Cajon home was apparently planning to divorce her husband and move to Texas, casting doubt on whether the slaying was a hate crime, as first suggested.

Newly released search warrant records show an Iraqi- American woman viciously beaten to death in her El Cajon home was apparently planning to divorce her husband and move to Texas, casting doubt on whether the slaying was a hate crime, as first suggested, it was reported today.

Photo of Shaima Alawadi from Facebook.
Enlarge this image

Above: Photo of Shaima Alawadi from Facebook.

Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old mother of five, was attacked in her home on Skyview Street about 11 a.m. March 21, El Cajon police said. Her 17-year-old daughter, Fatima Alhimidi, called 911 after allegedly finding her critically injured mother, who was pronounced dead in a hospital three days later.

Records obtained at El Cajon Superior Court on Wednesday showed the victim's plans to leave her husband and also revealed the teen was distraught over her pending arranged marriage to a cousin, U-T San Diego reported.

Alawadi's husband, Kassim Alhimidi, was reported to have been taking the couple's younger children to school when the attack occurred, but an affidavit stated his whereabouts had not yet been confirmed, according to U-T San Diego.

Alawadi's death spurred outrage in the Muslim community. Police said the slaying may have been a hate crime -- citing a threatening note found at the scene -- but stressed all other possibilities would be investigated.

The sheriff's crime lab determined that the note, which ordered the family to go back to where they came from, was a copy, not the original, U-T San Diego reported. Police said the family allegedly received a similar note prior to the day of the killing but did not report it.

A family friend told U-T San Diego that Fatima, her brother and father flew to Iraq last week for Alawadi's funeral on Saturday and planned to stay for two weeks.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Dothscribble'

Dothscribble | April 5, 2012 at 8:19 p.m. ― 2 years ago


Textbook reckless for professionals (including media) to pontificate
on motive prior to an investigation. Surprising.

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Avatar for user 'Dothscribble'

Dothscribble | April 5, 2012 at 10:05 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Textbook recklessness for professionals (including media)
to pontificate upon motive prior
to the investigation. Outlandish.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'Dothscribble'

Dothscribble | April 5, 2012 at 10:11 p.m. ― 2 years ago

Textbook recklessness for professionals (including media)
to have pontificated upon motive prior to the investigation. Outlandish.

( | suggest removal )

Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | April 6, 2012 at 7:25 a.m. ― 2 years ago

If this turns out to be a crime committed by a family member or friend as a way of keeping the daughter from marrying a cousin, a whole new can of worms will be opened.

People need to be aware when you come to America certain traditions will not be accepted. Pre-arranged marriages to cousins being one of them. It's not unreasonable to assume people migrating to America want a better life. In order to enjoy and benefit from this life you will need to adopt our language, certain traditions, and cultural attitudes. Changing your address is not enough. You will need to blend in with our society, and no I don't mean you have to give up everything, but merely adapt to the change of life you sought in the first place.

Anyone believing a foreign community can set up house in America and live in the manner they did from their native country is naive. Remember, the way of life you left didn't live up to your standards in the first place, therefore it's okay to let go of some of the things you found distasteful.

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Avatar for user 'Studying_Nomad'

Studying_Nomad | April 6, 2012 at 10:40 a.m. ― 2 years ago

I don't understand why everyone keeps blaming the media. The only person claiming it was a hate crime was the daughter. The police said they were investigating a "possible" hate crime. The media reported just that, feel free to look back at the articles. Popular memory cracks me up. I never for a minute believed it was a hate crime. Hate groups may be dorks, but they are not stupid. The only way I could imagine hate philosophy was behind the motivation is if it was a group of kids.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | April 6, 2012 at 10:48 a.m. ― 2 years ago

David,

Those syllogisms are way too glib. C'mon man! A woman was murdered. To borrow from your prior posts, do you propose "going to the steps" of Mecca and demanding that Islam change its ways so that its followers may please Americans? We're not exactly minding our own business in the Middle-East. Invading a country under dicey circumstances and expecting its refugees to renounce cultural customs which predate our country by half a millenium is a bit too much. Sometimes a crime is just a crime, not an occasion to condemn an entire religion or group of people.

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Avatar for user 'HarryStreet'

HarryStreet | April 14, 2012 at 4:48 p.m. ― 2 years ago

DeLaRick, get with the program. Yes a woman was murdered. The person(s) have to be caught. To prevent this from happening again important issues I mention must be addressed, or are you okay with the status quo?

I am not condemning an entire religion or group, but certain traditions and cultural traits that lead to such crimes as Honor Killing of a Relative. If you truly want these type of crimes to come to an end, we must address why people think like that in the first place and how we can help them readust that train of thought.

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