El Cajon, Ca.
Back on March 21st of this year, a jarring news story broke here in San Diego. It involved a senseless, brutal beating inside an El Cajon home, which lead to the death of an Iraqi mother of 5, Shaima Alawadi, who died 3 days after the horrific incident. At the time, KUSI News here in San Diego was one of the very first to cover the story.
Many will probably recall the claims and the shed tears of the murder victim’s 17-year-old daughter, Fatima. Making herself available to the media the very day of her mother’s brutal beating, Fatima presented a scenario that prompted some in the media to quickly jump to conclusions, labeling the incident an anti-Muslim hate crime.
Claiming that a note was found next to her mother’s body, the 17-year-old added that the note read “Go back to your country you terrorist.”
In a piece titled, “Iraqi-American murder highlights anti-Muslim hate crime”, Reuters took the liberty – without the benefit of a thorough investigation – to prematurely conclude that the murder of Shaima Alawadi was more than likely the result of a hate crime.
The opening paragraph of that article notes that this murder “brought attention to a rise in bias crimes against Muslims…”
The Reuters article also goes on to cite “reports” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which claimed that the “number of anti-Muslim hate groups tripled to 30 in 2011”.
The “hate crime” spin-game was on from the very beginning.
Unfortunately, for those seeking to politicize the tragic death of this mother of 5, the actual facts pointed in a very different direction.
From the beginning, The El Cajon Police Department refused to label the incident a hate crime and insisted that the public not jump to conclusions, reminding everyone that an investigation was still ongoing.
Kristina Davis of the San Diego Union-Tribune was able to obtain “search warrant records” from the El Cajon Superior Court, which helped to paint a very different picture than the one being presented to the public by some in the media.
Read: Was Slaying of El Cajon Woman a Hate Crime?
Court documents revealed that Shaima Alawadi had been planning on filing for divorce and moving to Texas thereafter. Further investigation also confirmed that the 17-year-old daughter was actually inside the home at the time of the incident.
The 17-year-old claimed that she was in her bedroom at the time and that she’d heard what she believed to be was the sound of glass breaking, accompanied by what sounded like a “squeal”.
Strangely, the daughter did not bother to check the cause of these noises until about 10 minutes had passed. It was then that the teenager says that she found her mother lying on the floor in a pool of blood andit was at this time that she decided to call 911.
The U-T report also mentioned that while the teenager was being interviewed by detectives, she received a strange text message, which read: “The detective will find out tell them (can’t talk).”
Now, nearly 8 months later, San Diego’s CW 6 reported on Monday that the 48-year-old husband of Shaima Alawdi has been arrested for suspicion of the murder of his wife. El Cajon Police Chief, Jim Redman, “determined that the homicide was the result of domestic violence and not a hate crime.”
Police Chief Jim Redman also noted:
“An officer has been assigned to work this case since the inception. It’s been a continuous effort. We’ve brought in officers to assist that officer from time to time, but at least one officer has been continously on this case.”
Despite the early warnings by the El Cajon Police Department to not jump to conclusions by labeling the incident a “hate crime” some in the media just could not resist politicizing the tragic death of this mother of 5.
No information was given regarding the 17-year-old daughter who made the claims regarding the antagonistic note supposedly found next to her mother, or the mysterious text message she received while talking to detectives.