Hate Crime, Not Likely
by GADI ADELMAN
April 2, 2012
Shaima Alawadi, 32, a mother of 5 was found unconscious by her 17 year old daughter, in the dining room of the family’s home in El Cajon, CA about 11:15 a.m. March 21. Alawadi was taken off life support about 3 p.m. March 24. She died shortly thereafter.
The daughter who found her told KUSI Channel 9/51 her mother had been beaten in the head with a tire iron and a note near her mother stated,
“Go back to your own country, you’re a terrorist".
The family also told police they had received a similar threatening note several days earlier but considered it a prank by teenagers.
Let me state here that this is a brutal murder and regardless of what the investigation reveals, a 32-year-old mother of 5 was cruelly taken from her family.
The death of Shaima Alawadi comes on the heels of the Trayvon Martin shooting and people throughout the country are taking sides over whether Trayvon was a victim of racism. Add to that the note left by Shaima’s body and it’s no wonder that people right away start yelling “hate crime”.
On March 26, Jim Redman, the Chief of the El Cajon Police Department, held a 15 minute news conference that lead to more questions than answers. His statement was less than two minutes long, the 14 remaining minutes was a question/answer session with the press.
In the first minute of the conference Chief Redman explained the note,
“Based on the contents of this note we are not ruling out the possibility this may be a hate crime.”
He stated the note “was threatening in nature” but continued with,
“I want to stress there is other evidence in this case that we are looking at and the possibility of a hate crime is just one of the aspects of this investigation.”
Redman then stated it was “isolated”,
“Based on the evidence thus far, we believe this is an isolated incident.”
First red flag, how can this be an isolated incident if it was hate crime? Would the Chief make such a statement if he had evidence there were a person or persons running around murdering Muslims?
The very first question asked was about the note,
“Could the note possibly be a red herring or possibly family members or something like that as well?”
The answer that the Chief gave would remain the same for most of the questions,
“I can’t get into that; I just have to maintain my statement that we are looking at all aspects of this case”.
Questions that followed attempted to get the Chief to reveal more to no avail,
“What other evidence are you referring to, is it forensics?”
Chief Redman stuck to his initial statement and explained,
“Any further discussion on the evidence would compromise this investigation. I really have to stress that we can’t go any further in to the evidence of this case, I apologize for that.”
When asked if all the family members had been interviewed he answered, “Yes”. The reporter repeated “all of them, including the husband?” Redman stated “all of them, including the husband.”
The Chief refused to discuss the contents of the note found near the body. When told by a reporter that the 17-year-old daughter had specifically stated on TV what was in the note, the reporter asked if it was accurate. Redman stated,
“We’re not going to reveal any further details on the note other than it was threatening in nature.”
The Chief refused to confirm if a tire iron was the weapon used or if it had been found. He did explain that only one search warrant had been issued and that was on the home of the victim, where she was found.
Asked about another note that had been reported, the Chief explained that there was another “threatening note” that had been found by the family within the last month, but the family did not call the police or keep the note.
Red flag number two; so this other note was only mentioned to the police after Alawadi was beaten, it was not kept and never seen by police investigators.
Chief Redman stated “We’re confident that we’ll be able to solve this case, I can’t reveal any timeline, but we are examining evidence and we’re confident we’ll be able to resolve this case.”
When asked “Do you have any persons of interest”, the Chief stated “no, we do not.” Asked if “there is a description of the suspect”, he answered “not at this time.”
The answer to the follow up question of “There’s no suspect, correct, or is there?” is red flag number 3. The Chief stated “I can’t reveal any details of that at this time.”
When asked the question,
“If you think this is an isolated incident, or, how do you assure residents of El Cajon that they don’t need to be concerned if we don’t know a lot about this case?”
The answer goes back to the first red flag, Chief Redman stated,
“I wish I could reveal more, but I really can’t because it would compromise the investigation, but I just want to assure the citizens of El Cajon that we believe, we strongly believe that this was an isolated incident.”
When asked about hostility towards the Muslim community in the area, the chief stated that there was “no free flowing hostility” in the community.
Asked about finger prints on the note, Chief Redman said, “I can’t reveal that.”
When asked about Alawadi’s “whereabouts and activity that morning prior to being found” as well as “what happened that morning with the kids going to school”, Redman only stated, “I can’t comment on that.”
Asked “did you say it was a forced entry to the house”, Redman stated, “there was a broken window, but we can’t reveal any further information than that.” The reporter followed up with “and that looks like how they had gotten in?” the Chief said, “Can’t reveal any farther, sorry.”
When asked whether or not “there was a history of domestic violence”, Redman stated, “none that we know of so far.”
Red flag number 4 is the answer to the question why they were so sure it was “an isolated incident and does that mean it’s less likely that it was a hate crime?” The Chief stated,
“I can’t comment on the evidence or the reasons why we believe it’s an isolated incident other than to just assure the community that that’s our strong belief.”
The last red flag is because of the question that was asked about family interviews, the Chief was asked about follow up interviews with the family and Redman stated “We’ve conducted interviews” and then a reporter asked if any persons of interest were being interviewed and his answer was the same,
“We’ve conducted interviews; I can’t reveal the details of the interviews, so I won’t answer that question.”
So where am I going with all this you may ask. As explained in an article from August 2010 titled “Fake Hate Crimes: An Islamist Weapon”, by Ryan Mauro,
CAIR called on the FBI to investigate an act of arson at a Georgia mosque, saying that hate crimes were increasing because of a “vocal minority in our society promoting anti-Muslim bigotry.” The Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) referred to it as one of the “incidents of Islamophobia [that] are on the rise in this country.” However, police later arrested a Muslim suspect.
He cites several cases within the article,
A classic example occurred in 2008, when a 19-year-old female Muslim student named Safia Z. Jilani at Elmhurst College in Illinois claimed that she had been pistol-whipped in a campus restroom by a male who then wrote “Kill the Muslims” on the mirror. The alleged attack occurred just hours after she spoke at a “demonstration called to denounce the anti-Islamic slurs and swastika she had discovered … in her locker.” A week later, however, authorities determined that none of this had taken place and she was charged with filing a false police report.
In other cases, individuals are driven to fabricate hate crimes not for political reasons, but to cover up more mundane criminal activity. Take the bizarre story of Musa and Essa Shteiwi, Ohio men who received media attention in 2006 after reporting several attacks on their store, the third being with a Molotov cocktail. A fourth “attack” then occurred, when an explosion was set off and badly burned the father and son, injuries from which they later died. CAIR highlighted it as a hate crime. However, investigators found that the two had set off the explosion themselves after they poured gasoline in preparation for another staged incident and one of them foolishly lit a cigarette. The pair had hired a former employee to carry out the previous attacks as part of an insurance fraud scheme.
There are several other cases within the article, but too many to list all here.
Daniel Pipes did a report back in 2005 on this same subject titled “CAIR's Hate Crimes Nonsense”, he lists 6 cases in which the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) gave examples of anti-Muslim hate crime reports and he “discovered a pattern of sloppiness, exaggeration, and distortion”.
I myself have written on this subject before as well. My article last may on Fatima Abdallah was just one example of an ‘honor killing’ that was ruled a suicide. No, it was accidental, or was it both? The Tampa Florida police and the Medical examiner never did agree, but as I explained in the article,
Fatima Abdallah died after she allegedly beat her own head against a coffee table and then on the floor until she died. Her death was ruled accidental and the case was closed.
This goes much farther than the obvious ludicrousness that someone would commit suicide by beating their own head on a table. The inconsistencies in the police reports and statements, the 911 call report, the Tampa Fire Department medics and the Medical examiner are astounding.
My first thought when I heard about the beating and death of Shaima Alawadi was that it was another ‘honor killing’ that would be covered up. It’s not that I don’t believe that someone would murder a Muslim for being a Muslim, no; this was because of past history.
Now I am even more convinced due to the press conference by Chief Redman of the El Cajon Police. If a member of her family did kill Shaima in the name of honor, what better way to cover it up than by writing a note and breaking a window?
The reports on hate crimes by our FBI show that crimes against Muslims continue to go down each and every year. I touched on this in my article just last week,
…the recently released FBI crime statistics from 2010... The stats section of Religious bias once again shows that anti-Jewish hate crimes were far and above that of Islamic hate crimes,
Of the 1,552 victims of an anti-religion hate crime:
67.0 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.
12.7 percent were victims of an anti-Islamic bias.
I have written too many articles on honor killings here in the U.S. and I am certain this one will be added to the list.
There is only one way that the El Cajon police could be so certain that this was “an isolated incident”. There is only one reason the Chief would make a public statement saying he wanted to “assure the citizens of El Cajon that we believe, we strongly believe that this was an isolated incident.”
That would be if they knew without a shadow of a doubt that whoever committed this murder was a threat only to Shaima Alawadi and no one else.
My hat’s off to Chief Redman and his department, it sounds to me thus far that they are truly looking in to every aspect of this murder and not jumping on the “Islamophobic” band wagon.
Only time will tell if I am right, but at least so far this case doesn’t look like it is going to end up like the Tampa, Florida case being swept under the proverbial prayer rug. Either way, as I stated in the outset, this is a brutal murder and regardless of what the investigation reveals, a 32-year-old mother of 5 was cruelly taken from her family.
If I am right, perhaps we will hear some outcry from the Women’s rights groups this time.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “America Akbar” on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Gadi Adelman is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of terrorism and counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and Islam for 35 years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7 children were killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures to law enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be heard every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show "America Akbar" on Blog Talk Radio. He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.