Archive for Immigrant

NYTimes: Killing of Iraqi Woman Leaves Immigrant Community Shaken

Posted in Loon People, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2012 by loonwatch

Alawadi

Alawadi’s daughter

Background on El Cajon, CA in light of the tragic murder and possible hate crime against Shaima AlAwadi:

Killing of Iraqi Woman Leaves Immigrant Community Shaken

By IAN LOVETT and WILL CARLESS (NYTimes)
Published: March 27, 2012

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.

Like many others in the neighborhood, Ms. Alawadi and her husband, Kassim Alhimidi, are immigrants from Iraq. Mr. Alhimidi says he wanted to call the police. But his wife said no, insisting the note was only a child’s prank. In 17 years in the United States, they had been called terrorists before, he said.

But last Wednesday, her 17-year-old daughter found Ms. Alawadi in their dining room, 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, and the police say they are still trying to determine whether she was, indeed, targeted because of her religion or ethnicity, calling that just one possibility.

“At this point, we are not calling it a hate crime,” said Lt. Mark Coit of the El Cajon police department. “We haven’t made that determination. We are calling it an isolated incident, because we don’t have any evidence of anything similar going on at this point.”

Isolated or not, 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.

Hanif Mohebi, director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that many Muslim women in the area were worried that Ms. Alawadi had been targeted because she wore a headscarf in public, as many observant Muslim women do.

“The majority of the community that wears scarves are concerned,” Mr. Mohebi said. He cautioned against a rush to judgment before the police had finished investigating. Still, he added, “the community has gone through some hate crimes before, and the assumption the people have is that they’re going through one now.”

Just two decades ago, El Cajon, just northeast of San Diego, was largely white and English-speaking. But as wars in their homelands pushed more and more Iraqis and other people to emigrate, the Middle Eastern population here has exploded. El Cajon now houses one of the largest Iraqi communities in the country. Middle Eastern groceries and restaurants dot both sides of Main Street, while on the sidewalks, many families stroll by speaking only in Arabic.

Ms. Alawadi and her family moved to the United States from Saudi Arabia in 1995, after fleeing Iraq during the first Gulf War. They have five children, and, for the most part, Mr. Alhimidi said, the neighbors made them feel welcome.

Still, even before this month, he was already familiar with the kind of language he says was on the notes left at his house.

“Some neighbors, I say ‘hi’ to them, and they just turn away,” Mr. Alhimidi said in Arabic, with his son Mohammed translating. “More than 95 percent of the time, I feel welcome. But once in a while, people shout at you. They shout ‘terrorist,’ or ‘go back to your country.’ ”

Most people in town lamented Ms. Alawadi’s killing as a tragedy. Janet Ilko, a middle school teacher, said the news had come as a shock to students.

“It was upsetting to everyone,” Ms. Ilko, 47, said. “Our community is very close-knit. Our students get along very well. People have been here a long time.”

But tension between the newcomers from the Middle East and some of the town’s other residents was also readily apparent on Main Street, even this week. One woman, 30, who was at a park with her children and refused to give her name, called the city’s Iraqi residents “territorial,” adding, “maybe because we are at war with them.” She said her own background was Mexican, though she had grown up in Southern California.

That tension extends to non-Muslims as well.

“I’ve lived here for 32 years, and I’ve been told many times to go back to my country,” said Sascha Atta, an immigrant from Afghanistan. “Here in El Cajon, most of the Iraqis are not even Muslim, they are Christian, but people don’t know the difference.”

One of those Iraqi Christians is Lara Yalda, 18, who fled the country with her family in 2004, living in Syria for six years before coming to El Cajon, where she is now in high school. She said that last year one teacher told all of the Iraqi students to go back to their country, complaining that they took welfare and other money from the United States. That teacher does not teach Iraqi students any more but still works at the school, she said.

Ms. Yalda said Ms. Alawadi’s death frightened her.

“Yeah, I’m scared,” Ms. Yalda said. “I feel sad, because here it is a free country, and there is no reason to kill her. She has a family. So why they kill her? ”

The killing does not make sense to Ms. Alawadi’s son Mohammed either.

“There’s only three people that know what happened,” he said. “God, my mom and the guy who did it.”

Anders Behring Breivik’s Irrational Belief about Muslim Immigrant Colonization

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2011 by loonwatch
Oslo Rose MarchOslo Rose March

It’s not like I need to remind you that Breivik’s belief that immigration and an eventual Muslim take over were kooky, but here are some facts.

The sinful lies of Norway’s madman: European immigration in the wake of Breivik

Anders Behring Breivik, the butcher of Norway, believed the “Muslim colonization” of Europe – aided and abetted by multiculturalist fellow travelers and colluding weak-kneed politicians – was poised to destroy pristine Norway unless he acted. Breivik’s European Declaration of Independence lists a series of demands, above all that “immigration in whatever form should be immediately and completely halted and that our authorities take a long break from mass immigration in general until such a time when law and order has been reestablished in our major cities.”

The irrational fear of immigration does not align with the facts. Immigration has remained remarkably stable over the past 50 years – with approximately 3% to 3.2% of the world’s population as international migrants.

Norway, which sent to America some 522,000 immigrants over a century ago, is paradigmatic of the status quo. Over the course of 150 years, it has experienced a minor net migration gain. Today, it has approximately 550,000 immigrants – half of them originating in Europe, with Poles and Swedes leading the way. Norway has a small Muslim population (roughly a quarter of its immigrants).

Immigration’s stability is remarkable. While the potential for immigration continues to grow in our increasingly mobile and global world, the reality of international immigration remains quite stable – with more than 96% of all human beings living in the countries where they were born.

Greece: Muslims Celebrating Eid Attacked

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2010 by loonwatch

Islamophobia? What Islamophobia?

(hat tip: Asad Dandia)

Mob in Athens abuses Muslims as they celebrate Eid

By Yannis Behrakis
ATHENS | Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:08am EST

(Reuters) – Dozens of far-right activists and local residents threw eggs and taunted hundreds of Muslim immigrants as they gathered to pray in a central square for Eid al-Adha surrounded by a protective cordon of riot police.

Greece, which has become the main immigrant gateway to the European Union, has a growing Muslim community and tensions between locals and incomers have run high in some Athens areas such as Attiki square, the scene of Tuesday’s incident.

Athens’ Muslim community is without an official mosque and prayers are usually held at cultural centers or community halls or private apartments around the city. The Muslim community in Greece is estimated at about 1 million, in a country where most people are Greek Orthodox Christians.

While the Muslims prayed, some locals shouted obscenities from their balconies and waved Greek flags. Leaflets that depicted pigs — an animal Muslims consider unclean — were scattered across the square.

“There is a (unofficial) mosque near here but we’re afraid to go there,” said a 30-year old migrant from Bangladesh, who gave his name as Shamasul. “Sometimes Greeks in the neighborhood threaten to kill us.”

Margarita Vassilatou, 56, who has lived in the square for more than 35 years said she wanted to leave as a result of the immigrants:

“This is not a life … We are afraid of them. Many of them are criminals, they carry knifes and deal drugs.”

In another, more central square in front of Athens university, about 2,000 Muslim men and women prayed peacefully in front of the neo-classical university and ancient Greek statues.

In the past, moves to build a mosque in the capital have been met with opposition from local residents and some priests of the Greek orthodox church.

However, the current archbishop supports the construction of a mosque and the socialist government has set aside a site close to the city center, although building has not yet begun.

The only mosques in Greece are in the northeastern region of Xanthi near the Turkish border, home to a large Muslim minority.

(Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Matthew Jones)

 

Allen West Defends Selection of Joyce Kaufman

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Radio with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2010 by loonwatch

The political insane asylum in this country just gets larger and larger.

Allen West Defends Joyce Kaufman (Via Huffington Post)

Tea Party-backed Congressman-elect Allen West (R-Fla.) broke his silence over a controversial chief of staff pick this weekend, aggressively defending his selection of radio show host Joyce Kaufman despite the fact that the decision failed to come to fruition.

Here’s CNN’s report on their discussion with West:

“I was not hiring a talk radio host; I was hiring a very brilliant political mind, someone that has been in South Florida politics for 20 plus years. But unfortunately the liberal left showed that I guess they are threatened and intimidated by me, and so they went into the attack dog mode, which is something that they did the entire time in our campaign,” West told CNN Sunday in an interview at a downtown hotel where incoming freshmen were gathering for orientation.

Reports by the “attack dog” media turned upnumerous incidents in which Kaufman had spoken with incendiary rhetoric against illegal immigrants and Muslims. Soon after the reports, she turned down West’s chief of staff offer.

According to one such glance back at her past of public speaking, Kaufman reportedly said: “If you commit a crime while you’re here, we should hang you and send your body back to where you came from, and your family should pay for it.”

Oddly enough, West seemed to contend that the examination of Kaufman’s past of extreme speech was a sign that liberals had “issues with racism” against him.

“I think the American people are sick of, and that despicable, disgusting action and the way that they went after Joyce Kaufman shows that not only this liberal left has some issues with racism,” West told CNN. “I guarantee you, if I was a black Democratic Congressman-elect, they would not be doing these type of actions, and the fact that they’re attacking a woman like this, that shows me something about sexism and misogynist behavior.”

Kaufman reportedly addressed the incident herself over the weekend, as well. This from theBroward Palm Beach New Times.

“This is not about me,” she said of the threats. “This is the first attack on this man [Allen West].” She called the incident, “an attempt to try to make us look bad,” adding, “We didn’t fall into the trap!” She said she is remembering the individuals who have “demonized” her in the last few days, the columnists, the bloggers, and that she will call them out by name soon. She said she’s already received an offer to write a book about her ordeal.

 

Swedish police hunt ‘racist gunman’ in Malmo

Posted in Loon People, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2010 by loonwatch

The Swedish city of Malmo has been hit by a series of shooting attacks which has left one person dead and several injured.

But police do not have many clues or even a photofit of the suspect they are supposed to be hunting. The only thing they do know is that the attacks appear to be racially motivated.

Al Jazeera’s Barnaby Phillips travelled to Malmo to find out what impact the shootings are having on the community there.