Monday, October 23, 2006

Muslims say Fremont Murder Was Hate Crime

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Oct 23, 2006 at 3:23 PM

One of the nation's top Muslim leaders, Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the brazen daytime shooting of a Fremont Afghan mom appears to have been a hate crime. Yusuf, who is wildly popular among young Muslims, and is best known for being an advisor to President Bush after Sept. 11, visited the home of the slain Fremont mother Alia Ansari on Friday. The dead woman's family also believes her startling murder must have been because she wore a hijab - a traditional Muslim headscarf -- while she walked with her 3-year-old on her way to pick up her other children from school. Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman also visited the Ansari family home over the weekend. Fearing that it violated Islamic rules about body desecrations, Ansari's family had sought to block the autopsy. The family relented after a consulting a sheik, and the autopsy is to be conducted this afternoon. Police arrested a man late Thursday in connection with the case, but need the autopsy to confirm whether he is the killer or not. Police also say it's too early to tell whether it was a hate crime. Ansari was gunned down at point-blank range. The last thing she did was clutch her daughter's hand as she lay bleeding to death Thursday afternoon on a Fremont sidewalk -- she didn't want her daughter to run into the street.

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