6-Year-Old Palestinian-American Boy Fatally Stabbed

6 Year Old Wadea Al Fayoume | Source: CNN

On ​Saturday, October 14, 2023, a tragic incident occurred in ​Plainfield Township, ​Illinois, where a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy named ​Wadea Al Fayoume was fatally stabbed 26 times by his landlord, ​Joseph Czuba. The boy’s mother, Hanaan Shahin, was also seriously injured in the attack. The Will County Sheriff’s Office has stated that the suspect targeted the victims due to their Muslim background and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and Israel. This incident has raised concerns about the rise of hate-fueled violence against Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian communities in the United States.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has released a new statement identifying the victims and calling for justice. CAIR has also called for increased protection of Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian communities in the country. The Department of Justice has expressed its commitment to protecting the safety and civil rights of all individuals and utilizing legal measures to bring those responsible for hate crimes to justice.

Political leaders, including President Joe Biden and Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, have condemned the incident. President Biden stated that such an attack has no place in America, while Governor Pritzker described it as “nothing short of evil”. The funeral and burial of Wadea Al Fayoume were held on Monday, October 16, and were attended by family members, interfaith leaders, community members, and officials.

Wadea’s father has shared that the suspect had no previous history with their family and had even built a treehouse for the boy and allowed him to swim in a makeshift pool, bringing him toys. According to the suspect’s wife, he had developed an obsession with the conflict between Hamas and Israel.

In her first statement since the tragic incident, Hanaan Shahin, the mother of Wadea Al Fayoume, urged the public to “pray for peace”. The attack took place during a confrontation in their suburban Chicago home on October 14, where they were repeatedly stabbed with a serrated military-style knife.

The Department of Justice is currently investigating the incident as a hate crime, and the suspect has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of committing a hate crime.

About the Author

Adi Hansoty
Adi Hansoty is a junior at IMSA who lives in 07 B-wing. He is from Long Grove and is very excited to serve as a staff writer. Outside of writing, he likes to play sports, guitar, and listen to music.

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