I Was Right About This Iraqi Hate Crime Hoax–And The NEW YORK TIMES Was Wrong
Back on March 27, 2012, I blogged:
They never learn, do they?
Just a week ago, the New York Times was explaining how the upcoming French election would be affected by how immigration-restrictionist talk had inspired that neo-Nazi to kill those Jewish kids in Toulouse.
Then, it was all about all the time how an evil white racist had hunted down and murdered in cold-blood cuddly 12-year-old Trayvon Martin. (Here`s the Daily Mail`s capacious account of the current state of a story that is hard to get in one piece from the American press.)
Now, splashed big on the New York Times today:
By IAN LOVETT and WILL CARLESS
EL CAJON, Calif. — Shaima Alawadi’s family says they found the first note taped to the front door of their house on a quiet suburban street here. It said: “This is my country. Go back to yours, terrorist,” according to her 15-year-old son, Mohammed.
Ms. Alawadi’s husband, Kassim Alhimidi, says he wanted to call the police. But his wife said no, insisting the note was only a child’s prank. Like many others in the neighborhood, the couple were immigrants from Iraq. In 17 years in the United States, they had been called terrorists before, he said.
But last Wednesday, Ms. Alawadi was found in the family’s dining room by her 17-year-daughter, lying unconscious in a puddle of blood with a severe head wound. Nearby lay another threatening note, similar to the one the family found a week earlier.
Ms. Alawadi, 32, died three days later. The police caution against jumping to conclusions, saying they are still trying to determine whether she was targeted because of her religion or ethnicity, calling that just one possibility.
Yes, 32 minus 17 equals 15.
…Whatever the police eventually determine, the crime has shattered the sense of security for Iraqi immigrants in El Cajon, exposing cultural tensions and distrust that have often simmered just below the surface since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.
I dunno. Maybe the El Cajon Klan did it. It could be.
On the other hand, does this sound like a normal hate crime? Compare it to a typical hate crime, such as the assault on blogger Matthew Yglesias last May: man walking alone after dark through another racial group`s neighborhood gets beaten up by a couple of strangers. No notes are left.
So, does this suburban San Diego story strike you as a little dubious? The local hate crimeists don`t start with say, graffiti or window-breaking, they go right to home invasion and murdering a housewife, but not raping her. And, then, instead of burning a fiery cross, they leave a note. Okay, I suppose …
The ABC News report made it clearer what Chief Redman`s statement that he believed this was “an isolated incident, means:
“Police declined to elaborate, but crime experts said that usually suggests the victim knows the attacker.”
So, why is the New York Times making a big deal over a police blotter item from 3,000 miles away? Especially because by giving their international credence to the hate crime supposition, they might spark who knows what kind of violence among hot-heads in Iraq?
It could be that this is some hate conspiracy. But it sure sounds like the cops know more than they are telling, so why didn`t the New York Times wait until they found out what the cops know that they don`t yet know before splashing this big?
Today, the AP reports:
Associated Press By JULIE WATSON
3 hours ago
EL CAJON, California (AP) — A California judge sentenced an Iraqi immigrant Monday to 26 years-to-life in prison for his wife’s fatal beating — an attack that initially drew international condemnation when authorities believed it was a hate crime.
I’d don’t recall “authorities” ever believing it was a hate crime. I just recall the New York Times splashing the story heavily as the Hoped-For Immigrant Trayvon. Other media outlets like ABC and the L.A. Times behaved in a more responsible and skeptical fashion.
Prosecutors said Alhimidi lied to police about the state of his marriage and hid the fact that his wife was seeking a divorce and planned to move to Texas. His wife’s relative also overheard Alhimidi apologize to his wife as she lay dying in a hospital, according to the prosecution.
Alhimidi’s daughter, Fatima, did not attend the sentencing but sent a statement that was read in court in which she told her father: “What I saw scarred me for life.”
She added: “It disgusts me that you made this look like a hate crime.”
The 18-year-old is now taking care of her two younger sisters in El Cajon, while the two sons are living in Texas, her brother, Mohammed, said after the hearing.
After being sentenced, Alhimidi yelled out that he would prefer to be sentenced to death and donate his organs.
Alhimidi’s outbursts stopped the proceedings several times during his trial. He shook his head and wagged his finger as jurors delivered the guilty verdict in April.
His sons shouted in his defense, with one yelling obscenities before several deputies wrestled him out of the courtroom.
His son, Mohammed, who tattooed a drawing of a woman in a hijab on his arm in honor of his mother, told reporters Monday that he struggled at the time to believe his father had killed his mother.