Woman beaten in San Diego attack to be buried in Iraq
Iraqi-American Shaima Alawadi was found unconscious in her home with note next to her body that said 'go back to your country, you terrorist'
The body of an Iraqi-American woman who was found beaten unconscious in her home next to a note that said "go back to your country, you terrorist" will be flown to Iraq for her funeral, a local Muslim leader has said.
Shaima Alawadi, 32, was taken off life support on Saturday, three days after her 17-year-old daughter found her unconscious in the dining room of the family home in El Cajon, San Diego.
Investigators said they were exploring all aspects of her death, including the possibility that the attack was a hate crime.
Alawadi's father is a Shia cleric in Iraq, and the Iraqi government will pay to have her body sent back, a Muslim leader in Michigan told the Detroit Free-Press on Sunday. "Everybody is outraged," Imam Husham al-Husainy, of the Karbalaa Islamic Education Centre, in Dearborn, said. "This is too evil, too criminal."
The woman's daughter, Fatima Al Himidi, told KUSI-TV that her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tyre iron.
Police said the family had found another threatening note earlier this month, but did not report it to the authorities.
Himidi said her mother had dismissed the note, found outside the home, as a child's prank.
Flowers were piled on the doorstep of the housee on Sunday. A neighbour said the family had moved in only a few weeks ago. Friends said Alawadi wore a hijab.
Hayder al-Zayadi, a family friend, told the Free-Press Alawadi had moved to the US with her family in 1993 and was part of a wave of Shia Muslim refugees who fled to Michigan after Saddam Hussein cracked down on an uprising in 1991.
After living in Dearborn for a few years, she moved to the San Diego area in 1996, graduated from high school and became a housewife, raising five children.
Zayadi said Alawadi's brothers worked for the US army, serving as cultural advisers to train soldiers who were going to be deployed to the Middle East. Another family friend told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Alawadi's husband had a similar job.
El Cajon, north-east of downtown San Diego, is home to one of the largest Iraqi communities in the US.
Muslim, Arab, Egyptian. Proud of the Qur'an, of prophet Muhammad, of Islamic civilization, of great Muslim scientists. Proud of old Arab ethics, of old Arab poem. Proud of the pyramids, of the great Pharaoh civilization, and I'm proud to be a part of the generation that made the Egyptian revolution of 2011 that will change the world forever.
I love all people, I like to help others when I can.
I really hate opression of any kind, against any person. Killer of an innocent is my first enemy. I'm very intersted in the Arab-Israeli conflict.
I love nature very much and don't like to see it under attack.