In March of 2012, Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old Iraqi Muslim and mother of five, was found brutally beaten at her home in El Cajon, a community just east of San Diego and home to more than 50,000 Iraqi immigrants. A note left next to her read, “go back to your country you terrorist.”
According to Hanif Mohebi, director of CAIR in San Diego, “We’ve seen an increase of reports just in the last few months, including some disturbing bullying of young Muslim students, discrimination in employment, and even harassment in prisons, and not just by fellow prisoners but even by prison guards, and now this tragedy, which has many Muslims in this community concerned, especially those that wear scarves.”
Some activists and commentators compared the crime to the shooting of Trayvon Martin that had taken place less than a month earlier. The “hoodie” Martin wore was said to feed into racial profiling that led an armed civilian to shoot the unarmed teenager. Similarly, Alawadi’s hijab was said to have marked her as Muslim to the person who murdered her.
Members of the Iraqi community in San Diego complained U.S. veterans might be a danger to them.
San Diego attorney Randy Hamud, an American-born Muslim and a member of the Arab-American Advisory Board for the San Diego Police Department said, “I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned about it. We have a very large veteran population here, and so many of our troops do multiple deployments and come home with post-traumatic stress. And we have so many identifiable people of Middle Eastern background. It’s something I can’t help but think about.”
But there’s one big problem with all this speculation.
This week, Shaima’s murderer was charged. It was none other than Kassim Al-Hamidi, her husband.
Prosecutors said Alhimidi killed his wife — a mother of five — by hitting her at least six times in the head with a blunt object as she sat at a computer.
Apparently, Shaima Alawadi had told relatives she “couldn’t stand” the defendant and had taken out divorce papers.
Alawadi’s family fled Iraq after Saddam Hussein’s government suppressed Shiite uprisings, and first settled in Detroit in 1993. Shaima was 13 at the time. Her husband was 30.
By 2012, Alawadi was thinking of filing for divorce and moving. This and other family issues (including her daughter’s refusal to proceed with an arranged marriage) led the police to consider the possibility that the murder was not a hate crime.
In fact, the only thing about this tragedy that was a “hate” crime was the animosity against our veterans that groups like CAIR and the liberal Left tried to foment.
This story is tragic – but even more so is the repulsive alacrity with which the Left seeks to pin blame on those who are innocent — particularly our military who have risked life and limb to protect Iraqis such as Kassim Al-Hamidi.