by Gadi Adelman
An Iraqi-born woman was beaten in her home in California and later died. A window was broken and a note left near the body read, “Go back to your own country, you’re a terrorist". It was thought to be a hate crime. Now Police are wondering.
Shaima Alawadi, 32, a mother of five was found unconscious by her 17 year old daughter, in the dining room of the family’s home in El Cajon, California, at about 11:15 a.m. on March 21. Alawadi was taken off life support about 3 p.m. March 24. She died shortly thereafter.
The daughter who found her told KUSI Channel 9/51 her mother had been beaten in the head with a tire iron and a note near her mother stated, “Go back to your own country, you’re a terrorist".
The family also told police they had received a similar threatening note several days earlier but considered it a prank by teenagers.
Let me state here that this is a brutal murder and regardless of what the investigation reveals, a 32-year-old mother of 5 was cruelly taken from her family. The death of Shaima Alawadi comes on the heels of the Trayvon Martin shooting and people throughout the country are taking sides over whether Trayvon was a victim of racism. Add to that the note left by Shaima’s body, and it’s no wonder that people right away start yelling “hate crime.”
On March 26, Jim Redman, the Chief of the El Cajon Police Department, held a 15-minute news conference, which lead to more questions than answers. His statement was less than two minutes long, the 14 remaining minutes was a question/answer session with the press.
Chief Redman explained, “Based on the contents of this note we are not ruling out the possibility this may be a hate crime.” He stated the note “was threatening in nature” but continued saying, “I want to stress there is other evidence in this case that we are looking at and the possibility of a hate crime is just one of the aspects of this investigation.”
Redman then stated, “Based on the evidence thus far, we believe this is an isolated incident.”
Red flag: How can this be an isolated incident if it was hate crime? Would the Chief make such a statement if he had evidence there were a person or persons running around murdering Muslims?
The first question was asked: “Could the note possibly be a red herring or possibly family members or something like that as well?” The answer that the Chief gave would remain the same for most of the questions,“I can’t get into that; I just have to maintain my statement that we are looking at all aspects of this case”.
Questions that followed attempted to get the Chief to reveal more to no avail. Chief Redman stuck to his initial statement. He acknowledged that all the family members had been interviewed, including the victim’s husband, and stated “We’re confident that we’ll be able to resolve this case.”
Another question: “If you think this is an isolated incident, or, how do you assure residents of El Cajon that they don’t need to be concerned if we don’t know a lot about this case?”
Chief Redman’s answer goes back to the red flag: “I wish I could reveal more, but I really can’t because it would compromise the investigation, but I just want to assure the citizens of El Cajon that we believe, we strongly believe that this was an isolated incident.”
When asked about hostility towards the Muslim community in the area, the chief stated that there was “no free flowing hostility” in the community. Redman added, “I can’t comment on the evidence or the reasons why we believe it’s an isolated incident other than to just assure the community that that’s our strong belief.”
So where am I going with all this you may ask. As explained in an article from August 2010 titled “Fake Hate Crimes: An Islamist Weapon”, by Ryan Mauro,
CAIR called on the FBI to investigate an act of arson at a Georgia mosque, saying that hate crimes were increasing because of a “vocal minority in our society promoting anti-Muslim bigotry.” The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) referred to it as one of the “incidents of Islamophobia [that] are on the rise in this country.” However, police later arrested a Muslim suspect.
He cites several cases within the article,
A classic example occurred in 2008, when a 19-year-old female Muslim student named Safia Z. Jilani at Elmhurst College in Illinois claimed that she had been pistol-whipped in a campus restroom by a male who then wrote “Kill the Muslims” on the mirror. The alleged attack occurred just hours after she spoke at a “demonstration called to denounce the anti-Islamic slurs and swastika she had discovered … in her locker.” A week later, however, authorities determined that none of this had taken place and she was charged with filing a false police report.
In other cases, individuals are driven to fabricate hate crimes not for political reasons, but to cover up more mundane criminal activity. Take the bizarre story of Musa and Essa Shteiwi, Ohio men who received media attention in 2006 after reporting several attacks on their store, the third being with a Molotov cocktail. A fourth “attack” then occurred, when an explosion was set off and badly burned the father and son, injuries from which they later died. CAIR highlighted it as a hate crime. However, investigators found that the two had set off the explosion themselves after they poured gasoline in preparation for another staged incident and one of them foolishly lit a cigarette. The pair had hired a former employee to carry out the previous attacks as part of an insurance fraud scheme.
There are several other cases within the article, but too many to list all here.
Daniel Pipes did a report back in 2005 on this same subject titled “CAIR's Hate Crimes Nonsense”, he lists six cases in which the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) gave examples of anti-Muslim hate crime reports, and he “discovered a pattern of sloppiness, exaggeration and distortion”.
I myself have written on this subject before as well. My article last may on Fatima Abdallah was just one example of an honor killing that was ruled a suicide. No, it was accidental, or was it both? The Tampa, Florida police and the medical examiner never did agree, but as I explained in the article, “Fatima Abdallah died after she allegedly beat her own head against a coffee table and then on the floor until she died. Her death was ruled accidental and the case was closed.This goes much farther than the obvious ludicrousness that someone would commit suicide by beating their own head on a table. The inconsistencies in the police reports and statements, the 911 call report, the Tampa Fire Department medics and the Medical examiner are astounding.”
My first thought when I heard about the beating and death of Shaima Alawadi was that it was another honor killing that would be covered up. It’s not that I don’t believe that someone would murder a Muslim for being a Muslim. No, this was because of past history.
Now I am even more convinced due to the press conference by Chief Redman of the El Cajon Police. If a member of her family did kill Shaima in the name of honor, what better way to cover it up than by writing a note and breaking a window?
The reports on hate crimes by our FBI show that crimes against Muslims continue to go down each and every year. I touched on this in my article just last week, “ …the recently released FBI crime statistics from 2010... The stats section of religious bias once again shows that anti-Jewish hate crimes were far and above that of Islamic hate crimes. Of the 1,552 victims of an anti-religion hate crime, 67.0 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias and 12.7 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
I have written too many articles on honor killings here in the U.S., and I am certain this one will be added to the list.
There is only one way that the El Cajon police could be so certain that this was “an isolated incident.” There is only one reason the Chief would make a public statement saying he wanted to “assure the citizens of El Cajon that we believe, we strongly believe that this was an isolated incident.”
That would be if they knew without a shadow of a doubt that whoever committed this murder was a threat only to Shaima Alawadi and no one else.
My hat’s off to Chief Redman and his department, it sounds to me thus far that they are truly looking in to every aspect of this murder and not jumping on the “Islamophobic” band wagon.
Only time will tell if I am right, but at least so far this case doesn’t look like it is going to end up like the Tampa case that was swept under the proverbial prayer rug. Either way, as I stated in the outset, this is a brutal murder and regardless of what the investigation reveals, a 32-year-old mother of five was cruelly taken from her family.
If I am right, perhaps we will hear some outcry from the women’s rights groups this time. Then again …
Gadi Adelman is a speaker on terrorism, jihad, sharia and Islam. He is a contributing editor for the Family Security Matters website as well as writing for Conservative Camp, Faith for Freedom, Gold Coast Chronicle and Pronline news. He has his own weekly radio show "America Akbar" that can be heard on the Radio Jihad network.