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Cross-Post: Culturestrike on Hate Crime Victims

Imagine 2050 Staff • Apr 01, 2012

Originally posted by Culturestrike on March 26, 2012.

As reporters clamored for breaking news about the vicious attack on Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi American mother of five in El Cajon, California, her teenage daughter Fatima turned to the interviewer with a question of her own:

“‘Why did you take my mother away from me? You took my best friend away from me,’ she said, choking with tears, in an interview with CNN affiliate KUSI. ‘Why? Why did you do it? I want to know. Answer me that.’”

So far, neither the grieving family’s pleas, nor CNN, nor the police have been able to provide any answers. Issuing the standard platitude about the ongoing investigation, the authorities described it as evidently “an isolated incident.” The grim circumstances of Alawadi’s death, however, point to a pattern of hate crime that’s devastatingly familiar to many Muslim and Arab communities.

The 32 year-old Alawadi died of wounds inflicted in a brutal beating in her home, which had, according to her daughter, been preceded by a racial threat.  “A week ago they left a letter saying, ‘This is our country, not yours, you terrorists,” she recalled when speaking to the media. “So my mom ignored that, thinking (it was) kids playing around, pranking. And so the day they hurt her, they left it again and it said the same thing.”

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