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Iraqi woman killed in US in suspected hate crime

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Sarah MacShane
WVoN co-editor 

Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi immigrant living in California, was found last week in a pool of blood next to a note saying “Go back to your own country, you terrorist”.

Beaten on the head repeatedly with a tyre lever, she was found by her 17-year old daughter, Fatima Al Himidi.

Along with other members of her family, Alawadi wore a hijab but had reportedly never felt threatened until, about a month ago, when she received a note similar to the one found next to her body.

Alawadi brushed it off as a child’s prank and did not report it to the authorities.

Her death has provoked international uproar, particularly on social media sites such as twitter, the hashtag #RIPShaima was trending with tweets such as:

  • @Yemmeyummy – Welcome to America, where you get killed for being suspicious for wearing a hoodie & a Hijab. #RIPShaima #RIPTrayvonMartin
  • ‏ @tasneemraja – I don’t wear a hijab, but nearly every other woman in my family covers. Shaima could have been my mother, aunt, cousin, sister…#RipShaima

In the wake of 9/11, Islamophobic incidents have been reported in several US cities, with attacks on people and mosques.

This is just one horrific example of the continued Islamophobia that persists in western countries, particularly those involved in Iraq and/or Afghanistan and those with a high numbers of Muslim immigrants.

This crime should be punished but the US also needs to promote better integration programs.

It’s about teaching people to respect one another, irrespective of their differences.

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