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The Death of Shaima Alawadi: Hate Crime?

Updated on March 26, 2012

Almost 20 years ago, Shaima Alawadi and her family fled Saddam Hussein's new movement against Shiites. On March 21, 2012, she was found beaten to death in her home with a note telling her to return to Iraq. Apparently, someone found this 32-year-old wife and mother of 5 to be a terrorist.

Although Shaima Alawadi was a firm practitioner of the Muslim faith, enough to wear the traditional headscarf, and was found on the verge of death in her suburban home a week after getting a letter calling her a terrorist, authorities are hesitating to call this a hate crime. Why?

Perhaps the authorities know something that we don't. It seems that less information than usual has been released to the public in this case. What we do know is that police are "confident" that this is an isolated incident, but they won't say why.

Think about it. If a crazy, prejudice person/group of people would target an innocent mother due to her religion and background, why would her death make them stop? The area of San Francisco that Alawadi lived in has many former Iraqi citizens, along with many hate crimes (although most are against other ethnicities). If the cruel death of Alawadi does not concern police, they must know something that they aren't telling us.

The fact that cops are not labeling this as a hate crime is also confusing, because at first glance, it looks like a grossly obvious example of prejudicial hate. Unless something else is going on.

There could be many different reasons why someone would stage Alawadi's death to make it look like a hate crime. (I'm not going to speculate on why.) Or, it could be a hate crime. Either way, her death is a tragedy, and we need more information on what really happened so we can prevent it from happening again.


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    • carolinekirby profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Indianapolis, IN

      I was thinking the same thing, that it might be domestic, and that whoever killed her could have set it up like to look like a hate crime. It's sad.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I hate to even make this suggestion. It sounds terrible. Yes it's possible that this was a hate crime. But it's also possible it was domestic abuse. When I first read the article, I expected to read something about her having been attacked outside her home, perhaps walking somewhere and being cornered. But having someone beaten to death in her own house in a residential neighbourhood sounds strange.


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