Iraqi Woman Beaten To Death In California Hate Crime [Video]
EL CAJON, Calif. — Shaima Alawadi, a 32 year old Iraqi woman who was found severely beaten with a note next to her body saying “go back to your country” died of her wounds on Saturday. Her death is sparking a firestorm of criticism and opening new conversations about Islamophobia.
Hanif Mohebi, the director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in a press conference that she had spoken with Alawadi’s family and they had taken her off life support. She died shortly after.
“The family is in shock at the moment. They’re still trying to deal with what happened,”
El Cajon, California police Lieutenant Steve Shakowski said that Alwadi’s 17 year old daughter had come home and found her mother lying in a pool of blood after being repeatedly struck with a tire iron. She had a note next to her body that said “go back to your country, you terrorist.”
Addressing cameras at a press conference Alwadi’s daughter said,
“You took my mother away from me. You took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it?”
Police said the family had found a similar note earlier this month but did not report it to authorities.
Alwadi had five children.
Lieutenant Mark Croit said that while he believes this is an isolated incident, Alwadi had received a previous note and dismissed it as a prank.
“A hate crime is one of the possibilities, and we will be looking at that. We don’t want to focus on only one issue and miss something else.”
El Cajon, northeast of downtown San Diego, is home to some 40,000 Iraqi immigrants, the second largest such community in the U.S. after Detroit.
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