Iraqi Mother Brutally Beaten in California, Left With Note

Shaima Alawadi, Iraqi immigrant and mother of 5, died yesterday
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2012 4:44 PM CDT
Police are investigating the possibility of a hate crime in the death of Shaima Alawadi.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(Newser) – With Florida—and the rest of America—still reeling over the Trayvon Martin case, another disturbing crime out of Southern California is making waves. A 32-year-old Iraqi immigrant was taken off life support yesterday, after being brutally beaten in her home on Wednesday morning and left beside a note reportedly demanding her family "go back to your own country." Police are looking into the possibility that Shaima Alawadi, a mother of five, was the victim of a hate crime, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Alawadi's 17-year-old daughter was reportedly sleeping upstairs at the time and was the one who found her mother in the dining room. In an interview with KUSI, she said she went downstairs but "it was too late and the (attacker) was gone. The sliding glass door was broken." Police have confirmed the presence of the note but not the contents of it; a family friend says it also read, "You're a terrorist." The friend also says that the family found a similar note outside the house earlier in March, but didn't report it, and notes that Alawadi was a "respectful modest muhajiba," meaning she wore a hijab. The AP reports that the Alawadis had only lived in the house for a few weeks, following a move from Michigan.

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