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HUSBAND OF SLAIN IRAQI-AMERICAN WOMAN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO HER MURDER

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Looks like we have another phony hate crime on our hands, as the husband of Shaima Alawadi (pictured left), whom was believed to be was murdered in her home by islamophobic scumbags, has been arrested and charged with her murder. So that is two cases of murder and violence in the name of hate politics in a month that the right wingers can say they were not responsible for - taking that off a rather large running tally that they pretend doesn't exist.

Associated Press

EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — There  were signs that her traditional Muslim family may have been struggling in the  U.S. even before Shaima Alawadi was murdered: Court documents say she was  contemplating a divorce, and her teenage daughter was resisting an  arranged marriage.

Authorities initially believed  Alawadi died as part of a hate crime. Now, they say the Iraqi-American woman was  killed by her husband during a domestic dispute.

The suspect, Kassim  Alhimidi, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge during a brief  appearance via a video monitor in Superior  Court, where the couple's teenage daughter Fatima Alhimidi cried quietly in  the courtroom in El Cajon.

Kassim Alhimidi was ordered held  without bail after prosecutors noted he recently traveled to Iraq and was a  flight risk. If convicted, he could face 25 years to life in prison.

The killing of the 32-year-old  Alawadi drew international attention after their daughter said she found a note  by her mother's bludgeoned body that read: "Go back to your country,  you terrorist."

Deputy District Attorney Kurt  Mechals said El Cajon police worked tirelessly to determine whether the case  was indeed a hate crime or a domestic dispute. He said the family is cooperating  and hoping for the best for their father but also wants to let the system  discover the truth.

"His family like everyone else  wants to see justice achieved for their mother," Mechals said.

He declined to comment further  on the case as did the family.

Author Nina  Burleigh, who has written extensively about the mix of Islam and Western  society, said the case highlights the dangerous clash that can happen when  female immigrants, particularly from Islamic countries, rebel against their  cultural restrictions and exercise choices made available to them in their  adopted homelands.

"These things are happening all  over the place," Burleigh said. "It's much more openly discussed in Europe where  there is more integration from these societies, where in the U.S. it's not  discussed so much partly because we have a bias toward discussing the way these  cultures treat women."

El Cajon, the San Diego suburb  where the couple and their children lived, is home to about  40,000 Iraqis.

Alhimidi's arrest last week  occurred only days after the sentencing of an Iraqi mother who was charged in  Phoenix with beating her daughter because she refused to go along with an  arranged marriage. The 20-year-old woman was burned on her face and chest with a  hot spoon then tied to a bed. The victim's father and sister were also sentenced  to two years of probation for their involvement.

In the California case, a sealed  search warrant affidavit inadvertently given to a reporter at the U-T San Diego  newspaper showed the El Cajon family was struggling with  relationship issues.

Detectives found documents in  Alawadi's car indicating the mother of five planned to seek a divorce. Alawadi  had left Iraq in the early 1990s after a failed Shiite uprising.

The affidavit showed their  17-year-old daughter, Fatima, was distraught over a pending arranged marriage to  her cousin in Iraq and was found in a car with another man in November 2011.  After her mother picked her up, the teenager said "I love you, Mom," opened the  vehicle door and jumped out while the car was traveling about 35 mph, the  document said.

"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, (so) she jumped out of the vehicle,"  the documents say.

Family friend Qasim  Alasady went to the courthouse Tuesday to show his support for the father  and his children.

He said he had known the couple  for 18 years and never noticed any trouble, although he recently heard from a  friend that Alawadi wanted a divorce. He said divorce does happen in Iraq and in  the immigrant community but is not common and is "shocking."

Alasady said he does not know  what happened in his friend's household, but he knows from his own experience  that keeping cultural traditions in the U.S. is not easy.

"It is totally different, this  place," said Alasady, who has lived in San Diego for nearly two decades.  "American women, they control everything. Back home it's different. A lot of  women they don't understand. They try to own the man over here."

Still he said violence is not  tolerated against anyone.

Alhimidi was publicly silent for  six days after the body was found, even though his children spoke often with  reporters. In his first public remarks — made at a news conference at the  family's mosque in Lakeside — he demanded to know what motivated  the killer.

"The main question we would like  to ask is what are you getting out of this and why did you do it?" Alhimidi said  in Arabic as his 15-year-old son translated.

In Iraq, female lawmaker Aliyah  Nisayef said in March that the killing of Alawadi was motivated by the  anti-Islam and Arab sentiment in U.S. Now she has suspicions about the  accusations leveled against Alawadi's husband.

"This incident has grabbed the  headlines as it has angered Iraqis and other Arabs who consider it a hate crime  as part of the anti-Islam and Arab campaigns in these countries," Nisayef told The  Associated Press in Baghdad.

"So my point of view is that  these accusations are dubious and could be fabricated as America is trying hard  to give a pure picture for it in regard to human rights and fighting extremism,"  she added.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Husband-of-slain-Iraqi-American-pleads-not-guilty-4031427.php#ixzz2CEHOQDYs

Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 17:38  

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