32-year old Shaima Alawadi, an Iraqi immigrant, has died of her wounds after being severely beaten in El Cajon, California.
She was found unconscious in her dining room on Wednesday by her 17-year old daughter, next to a note that reportedly said, “Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.”
When asked by a local reporter about the event, the daughter said of the attacker, “We’re not the terrorist, you are. Whoever did it. We don’t know what color you are, but we do know one thing. You are not Christian, you’re not Muslim, and you’re not Jewish, you’re someone without a religion, because if you know God, you would know God would not accept that. You’re an animal…you’re not even an animal.”
Alawadi’s husband works as a contractor for the U.S. military, where he serves as a cultural advisor to people who will be deployed to the Middle East.
Though the family moved to California from Michigan several weeks ago, they received a similar note soon after arriving but did not report it to the authorities. According to the Washington Post, they dismissed it as a prank.
Police are investigating the killing as an isolated incident, saying “A hate crime is one of the possibilities and we will be looking at that. We don’t want to focus on only one issue and miss something else.”
CAIR’s Hanif Mohebi said, “The family is in shock at the moment. They’re still trying to deal with what happened.”
El Cajon has the second-largest Iraqi community in the United States, after Detroit, with some 40,000 Iraqis.