عدد المساهمات : 38021
تاريخ التسجيل : 21/09/2009
|موضوع: Shaima Alawadi mourned الخميس 29 مارس 2012, 5:56 pm|| |
Shaima Alawadi mourned
The husband of an Iraqi immigrant who was savagely beaten in the couple's El Cajon home issued an emotional plea Tuesday for help in finding the killer "of this innocent woman."
Kassim Al-Himidi told reporters after an Islamic memorial service for his wife, Shaima Alawadi, that he wants to confront the person who bludgeoned her to death and left a threatening note telling her to return to their native country and calling her a terrorist."The main question we want to ask," Al-Himidi said in Arabic, with English translation provided by his 15-year-old son Mohammed, "is 'What are you getting out of this? Why did you do this?' "
Alawadi, 32, the mother of five, was found unconscious a week ago, her head bashed with a tire iron. Her family opted Saturday to take her off life support. Her body will be taken to Iraq, where her father is a Shia cleric in the holy city of Najaf.Alawadi was discovered by the couple's 17-year-old daughter, Fatima, who also reported finding the note near her mother's bloody body. A similar note was taped to the front door several days earlier, she told police, although that note was not preserved.
El Cajon police have not ruled out the possibility that the killing was a hate crime. But Police Chief Jim Redman also said that there is "other evidence" besides the note and that police have not determined a motive or identified a suspect or even a "person of interest."Redman said police are confident the killing is "an isolated incident" and not part of a campaign of violence aimed at the large Iraqi immigrant community in the suburbs east of San Diego.
Hanif Mohebi, executive director of the San Diego branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that except for occasional insults, there have been no indications of discord between immigrants and other residents.A memorial service for Alawadi at the Islamic Center of Lakeside, which serves as a mosque, drew more than 100 people. Weeping uncontrollably, Al-Himidi threw himself on his wife's linen shroud, which was covered with red roses.
Afterward, his composure returned, Al-Himidi and his oldest son talked to reporters, as did a variety of religious and political figures.Basam Al-Hussaini, an official of the Iraqi government, acting as a representative of Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, likened Alawadi's killer to "the same filthy hands, those same terrorists who want to kill our people" throughout Iraq in the post-Saddam Hussein era.
Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, referred to Alawadi and her husband as "a family that fled persecution and unfortunately met calamity here."Alawadi came to the U.S. in the mid-1990s after living for two years in a refugee camp in Saudi Arabia. She lived in Dearborn, Mich., and then El Cajon, two major centers for Iraqi and other Middle Eastern immigrants. She became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
"We should not jump to conclusions," Al-Marayati said. "We don't know if it was a hate crime. We don't know if it wasn't a hate crime."Imam Sharif Battikhi of the American Islamic Services Foundation in San Diego called on the community to "stand for justice and peace."As American citizens ... we stand not to hurt each other but to help one another," he said.
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Labels: Anti-Racism, Arab Americans, El Cajon, Iraqi people, Shaima Alawadi,The United States of America
Widower addresses Alawadi death
The husband of an Iraqi-American woman who was found bludgeoned to death with a threatening note beside her made his first public remarks Tuesday and demanded to know what motivated her killer.
Kassim Alhimidi addressing reporters at a mosque east of San Diego after a memorial service for 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi."The main question we would like to ask is what are you getting out of this and why did you do it?" Alhimidi said in Arabic as his 15-year-old son Mohammed translated.Alhimidi urged anyone with information to contact law enforcement and thanked the Iraqi government for flying his wife's body to Iraq. He declined to answer reporters' questions after making brief remarks.
Alawadi, a mother of five who volunteered at her mosque, was taken off life support Saturday, three days after her teenage daughter found her unconscious in the dining room of the family home in El Cajon, one of the nation's largest enclaves of Iraqi immigrants. Her daughter told a television station that the note said: "Go back to your country, you terrorist."El Cajon police have declined to disclose the contents of the note but said say it has led investigators to regard the killing as a possible hate crime. Chief James Redman said Monday there was other evidence and called the killing an isolated incident.
Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said it would be irresponsible to jump to conclusions. He spoke with reporters at the mosque after meeting with the police chief and getting assurances from the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security that they were committed to solving the crime."We don't know the facts of this case," Al-Marayati said. "We don't know if it's a hate crime. We don't know if it's not a hate crime."He urged the public to grieve for a family that fled persecution in Iraq and found tragedy in the United States.
The victim and her family left Iraq in the early 1990s after a failed Shiite uprising, living in Saudi Arabian refugee camps before coming to the U.S., said Imam Husham Al-Husainy of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Center in Dearborn, Mich. Saddam's troops hanged Alawadi's uncle.The family arrived in the Detroit area in 1993 and later moved to San Diego. Shaima Alawadi was a religious Shiite Muslim who wore a hijab, Al-Husainy said.
Alawadi's father, Sayed Nabeel Alawadi, is a cleric in Iraq, said Al-Husainy, who described himself as a close family friend.Alawadi's body was taken to the San Diego airport Tuesday, headed for Najaf, Iraq, said Imam Sharif Battikhi of the American Islamic Services Foundation.
The FBI, which is assisting El Cajon police in the investigation, defines a hate crime as an offense motivated by a bias against race, religion, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation.There were 1,409 hate crimes nationwide based on religion during 2010, including 186 targeting Muslims. There were 1,040 based on ethnicity or national origin, including 359 targeting groups other than Hispanics.
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Labels: Iraq Media, Race Hate, Racism, San Diego, Shaima Alawadi, The BBC, The United States of America
Toulouse school targeted by Hate Mail
The French Jewish school where three children and a teacher were murdered this month has received a wave of anti-Semitic hate mail and calls, the local prosecutor said Wednesday.Michel Valet said he had received a complaint from the school and had ordered a police investigation to discover the "origin of these calls and letters and the identities of those behind them."
The Ozar Hatorah school was at the centre of a national drama on March 19, when self-declared Al-Qaeda operative Mohamed Merah pulled up on his scooter and attacked a crowd of pupils and parents waiting for class.After killing a 30-year-old religious studies teacher and his two sons aged four and five, the 23-year-old Islamic extremist pursued a seven-year-old girl onto the grounds, grabbing her and shooting her through the head.
The local head of a Jewish representative group, Marc Sztulman, said the school's email system had filled up with messages "calling for the murder of Jews or drawing a vague link with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."On Monday, a 12-year-old Jewish boy was beaten but not badly hurt by three unidentified teenagers in an anti-Semitic attack outside another school in the Ozar Hatorah group, this time in Paris, according to police.
President Nicolas Sarkozy and other national leaders have called for national unity since Merah's attacks, insisting that his crimes do not represent Islam nor France's large Muslim minority.But some figures, notably far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, have linked the attacks to what they see as a too liberal immigration policy, despite the fact that Merah was a French-born Muslim.