Shaima Alawadi, murdered Iraqi-American mother, buried in Iraq


Shaima Alawadi is seen wearing sunglasses and a hijab in this image posted to a Facebook page created in her memory.

The body of Shaima Alawadi, the Iraqi-American beaten to death this month in California, has been laid to rest in her native Iraq, according to Reuters.

A police investigation into her killing is treating the case as a possible hate crime. Alawadi’s battered body was found March 21 by her daughter in their San Diego home. The daughter said a note left behind read, “Go back to your country, you terrorist.”

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Reuters said family members wept as the body of Alawadi, who had been a 32-year-old mother of five, was taken to the Valley of Peace cemetery in the holy Shiite city of Najaf south of Baghdad.

Her father, Nabil, was quoted as saying: "The martyr [Alawadi] used to love all, she made no distinction between religions.”

"Her husband told me that someone threw a note saying 'go back to your own country, you're a terrorist'... Who is the real terrorist, Shaima, or them?"

According to The Associated Press, the father asked God to exact revenge.

"Oh God, take revenge on those responsible," he reportedly screamed in anguish. "We are shocked by this criminal act against my daughter who called for love and tolerance."

According to the AP, the Iraq government showed particular attention to the ceremony. Alawadi’s casket had been draped in the Iraqi flag. The plane returning the body had been sent by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The car carrying her body to Najaf had a police escort

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Haidar Alawadi, a relative, was quoted as saying the family was "totally surprised at the attitude of the Iraqi government," which he said had taken no action in the case. "What we want is the truth about this ugly crime.”

But Ali al-Moussawi, al-Maliki's media adviser, told the AP the government could do little other than press the US government to act.

"Such crimes must be stopped," he added. "We have full trust in the U.S. justice system."