Many non-Muslim women in the United States have posted photos of themselves wearing a headscarf on “One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi,” which is a recently created webpage on Facebook.
The Facebook page had about 10,000 likes on April 2.
Jean Younis, the office manager at Bonita Valley Adventist Church in National City, California, said she would wear an Islamic headscarf to support the family and friends of Shaima Alawadi on Sunday, according to a recent article published by the Washington Post.
“I do expect a reaction, but that’s the point. It needs to be discussed,” said Younis.
The 59-year-old church office manager is one of the many non-Muslim women who have expressed solidarity with 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi.
Alawadi, mother of five, was found unconscious at her home in El Cajon, California, on March 21. She died after being found beaten and lying in a pool of blood next to a note saying “go back to your country, you terrorist”.
There have also been “hijab and hoodie” demonstrations at several universities across the United States in recent days. The notion of “hoodie” refers to the killing of Trayvon Martin, a black teenager gunned down by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Florida on February 26.
“They were both killed because of the way they looked and that is so wrong,” Younis said.
Trayvon Martin and Shaima Alawadi are not the only victims of alleged hate crime in the United States in recent weeks.
On March 24, 19-year-old college student Kendrec McDade was shot and killed by two Pasadena police officers in Los Angeles County, California. Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said he believed as many as “eight shots” were fired at McDade.
According to a report by Federal Bureau of Investigation, only in 2010 the statistics regarding single-bias hate crime incidents that were prosecuted in the United States showed there were 3,949 victims of racially motivated hate crimes, with 70 percent being victims of anti-black bias.
The FBI compiles annual statistics on hate crimes in the United States, but many commentators believe the bureau understates the real level of reported and unreported hate crimes each year.