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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Another Racial Narrative Collapsing?

I haven't blogged about this before, but you may remember the recent murder of Shaima Alawadi in San Diego, that has been characterized as an anti-Muslim hate crime, and spurred the "One Million Hajibs" protest. There is now evidence indicating that it may have been, in fact, a Muslim honor killing or perpetrated by her daughter.
A California hate crime murder that sparked an international uproar may have been a killing within the family, as police turn their investigation to her husband and teen daughter.

The Iraqi family was troubled by relationship issues before Shaima Alawadi, 32, a mother of five was beaten to death in her California home, according to newly released documents that contain little evidence the killing was a hate crime.

Alawadi, 32, planned to divorce her husband and move to Texas, according to search warrant records obtained by U-T San Diego. 
* * *

In addition, a suspicious text message led police to take a look at the woman's daughter, who reportedly had a strained relationship with Ms Alawadi.

While police interviewed her after the attack, she got a text message reading: 'The detective will find out tell them (can't) talk,' according to the search warrant affidavit.

The newly uncovered documents show that Ms Alawadi was contacted in November after officers caught her daughter, Fatima Alhimidi, 17, having sex with a 21-year-old man in a parked car.

The records state that after Alawadi had picked up the teen following the incident, Fatima jumped out of her mother’s car as she was driving away at speeds of up to 35 mph.

Police have reportedly searched the home of the man that Fatima had the vehicle tryst with, and have removed items from his home in their investigation.

* * *

Suspicions arose that it was a hate crime after the daughter told reporters she found a note near her mother telling the family to go back where they came from.

But authorities haven't disclosed the contents of the handwritten note.

The sheriff's crime lab determined it was a copy, not the original, according the documents.El Cajon police have said the note indicated the possibility of a hate crime, but investigators have stressed they are exploring other possibilities.
 And from this story at Salon:
Indeed, in the days after her death several revelations called the hate-crime allegation into question. On April 4, an affidavit for a search warrant about the murder was “accidentally released,” according to the New York Times. The San Diego Union-Tribune, which first received the document, claimed it shows a “family in turmoil and cast doubt on the likelihood that her slaying was a hate crime.” Alawadi was said to be planning on leaving her husband, based on blank divorce papers found in her vehicle. Last November, police investigating reports of two people possibly having sex in a car found Fatima with a 21-year-old man. After her mother was called to pick her up, Fatima allegedly jumped out of the moving car at 35 mph. While being treated at a hospital for her injuries the court records state, “Police were informed by paramedics and hospital staff that Fatima Alhimidi said she was being forced to marry her cousin and did not want to do so she jumped out of the vehicle.”

The document also mentions “a neighbor reported seeing a skinny dark-skinned male running west from the area of Alawadi’s house” on the morning of the murder. According to the affidavit, as of March 27, the police had not confirmed the whereabouts of Kassim Alhimidi, Alawadi’s husband, at the time of the murder. And curiously, “a handwritten note was located at the scene that the family denied seeing before.”

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