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Shaima Alawadi’s Body to be Flown to Baghdad
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In a case that attacks American freedoms and intensifies relationships already tense enough between the Middle East and the Unite States, a 32-year-old San Diego woman was found beaten to nearly to death, apparently for merely being from Iraq. Shaima Alawadi, a “respectful modest muhajiba,” (one who wears the traditional hijab head scarf), was found Wednesday by her 17-year-old daughter in her own home beaten with a tire iron. Beside her body was a note that read, “Go back to your country, you terrorist.” Shaima has been taken off from life-support and died Saturday. Her body will be flown to Baghdad, said Iraq’s foreign minister Monday.

When the case was first reported, Fatima Al Himidi, her daughter, beseeched the news camera, “You took my mother away from me. You took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it?”

The crime seems especially senseless, considering Shaima’s family came to the United States in 1993 as refugees from Hussein’s oppression of Shiite Muslims; and considering that both her brothers and her husbands worked with the U.S. Army as cultural advisors in training soldiers to be sent to the Middle East.

  
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“We deplore this hideous crime that took place in a country calls itself the land of democracy, freedoms and freedom of religious,” said Aliyah Nisayef, a female Iraqi lawmaker. “The parliament will take a serious position on this. Iraqi Foreign Affairs Ministry must now officially ask the U.S. Embassy and the Department of State for more details on this hideous crime.”

U.S. officials suspect this is an isolated incident, though the investigation is ongoing and it is uncertain yet who was behind this or why. “A hate crime is one of the possibilities, and we will look at that,” said Lt. Mark Coit. “We don’t want to focus on only one issue and miss something else.”

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