Illinois community buries ‘cute’ Palestinian boy killed in hate crime


Crowds of mourners in a Palestinian suburb of Chicago on Monday mourned a six-year-old Muslim boy killed in an alleged anti-Islam hate crime, hours after authorities revealed new details about the evidence used to charge the family owner with the child’s stabbing. And his mother.

The Fayoum deposit recently had its birthday. He died on Saturday After being stabbed dozens of times in a brutal attack that drew condemnation from local elected officials at the White House. Authorities said the family’s owner, Joseph Chuba, was upset about the war between Israel and Hamas and attacked them after the boy’s mother offered to “pray for peace.”

Related: Malik kills a six-year-old Muslim boy and stabs his mother in a hate crime in Illinois

Joe Biden condemned the fatal stabbing incident of Wadih Fayoum, which authorities say was sparked by the war between Israel and Hamas. The president said he was “shocked and disgusted” by the “horrific” killing. In the current situation Released on Sunday.

“The boy’s Palestinian Muslim family came to America seeking what we all seek — a refuge to live, learn, and pray in peace,” Biden said. He added: “This horrific act of hate has no place in America and goes against our core values: freedom.” Of fear for the way we pray, what we believe, and who we are.

Family members of Wadie Fayoum bring his coffin to the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois, on October 16, 2023.

Family members of Wadie Fayoum bring his coffin to the Mosque Foundation in Bridgeview, Illinois, on October 16, 2023. Photograph: Nam Wai Huo/AFP

In Bridgeview, which is home to a large and well-established Palestinian community, family and friends remembered Wadih as a kind, lively boy who loved to play games. His body was carried in a small white coffin – sometimes draped in a Palestinian flag – among packed crowds.

The imam of the mosque’s foundation, Jamal Saeed, spoke about the boy’s death during the funeral, as well as about the great loss of life in the war between Israel and Hamas.

“Wadih is a child, and he is not the only one being attacked,” he added, adding that “many children are literally being slaughtered in the Holy Land, unfortunately, which is very sad.”

The murder suspect, 71-year-old Joseph Chuba, appeared in court on Monday and was charged with murder, attempted murder and hate crimes after he was arrested and detained.

The Plainfield, Illinois, resident replied, “Yes, sir,” when asked if he understood the charges against him, and was subsequently returned to prison in Joliet, 50 miles southwest of Chicago. A Will County judge granted him the assistance of a court-appointed attorney.

Investigators said Chuba stabbed Wadie and his mother because the family was Muslim. He was their owner.

The boy’s mother, identified by family members as Hanan Shaheen, 32, although authorities used a different spelling, told investigators that she rented two rooms on the first floor of the Plainfield home while Chuba and his wife lived on the second floor. Assistant District Attorney Michael Fitzgerald said in a lawsuit.

“He was angry with her because of what was happening in Jerusalem,” Fitzgerald said. “She replied, ‘Let’s pray for peace…’ Then Chuba attacked her with a knife.”

Mourners place flowers on Wadih El-Fayoum's grave at Parkholm Cemetery where burial took place in LaGrange, Illinois, on October 16.

Mourners place flowers on Wadih El-Fayoum’s grave at Parkholm Cemetery where burial took place in LaGrange, Illinois, on October 16. Photography: Jim Vondruska/Reuters

In Bridgeview, the boy’s father spoke briefly to reporters in Arabic, saying he was trying to understand what happened to his son and the boy’s mother. He hoped that it would be “a bullet to solve the issue” in his homeland.

“I am here as the father of the boy, not as a politician or theologian. I am here as the father of a boy whose rights were violated.”

Kamala Harris also issued a statement denouncing the murder.

“Hate has no place in America,” the vice president said in part. “We unequivocally condemn hatred and Islamophobia and stand with the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim American communities.”

In the current situationIllinois Governor J.B. Pritzker specifically denounced the killing as a hate crime.

“Taking the life of a six-year-old in the name of bigotry is nothing short of evil,” Pritzker said.

He added: “Wadih has to go to school in the morning. Instead his parents will wake up without their son.”

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) A statement shared by Xformerly known as Twitter, expressed shock over Wadih’s killing while also condemning anti-Palestinian and anti-Islam rhetoric.

The organization said: “The anti-Islamic rhetoric and anti-Palestinian racism by politicians, the media and social media platforms must stop.” “now.”

Abed Ayoub, national executive director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, lamented the increase in hate crimes against Palestinians that have resulted from racist rhetoric.

“When networks give air time to racist Israeli leaders to demonize our people and push talking points to a right-wing foreign government, this is the result.” Ayoub said on the tenth.

You have tarnished the reputation of all Arabs. This didn’t have to happen. “The sad truth is that it could happen again.”

Chuba choked and stabbed the child’s mother, according to text messages from the 32-year-old woman shared by CARE, the largest Muslim civil rights organization in the United States.

When he entered the apartment, Chuba allegedly shouted: “You Muslims, you must die!”

Chuba allegedly stabbed Wadia with a military knife while the boy’s mother tried to call 911.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that the child had been stabbed 26 times. The Washington Post reported.

The boy’s mother allegedly suffered more than a dozen stab wounds to the chest, torso and arms before authorities arrested Chuba.

Police found Chuba with a wound on his forehead, sitting on the ground outside the house. The public defender’s office did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment on the charges against him.

Chuba’s wife, Mary, told police that her husband feared they would be attacked by people of Middle Eastern descent, and withdrew $1,000 from a bank “in case the American network went down,” Fitzgerald said in the court document.

The Justice Department said it had opened a hate crime investigation into the attack.

Wadia’s funeral was held on Monday. His mother was too badly injured to attend.

“This is a heavy day that we hoped would never come. As they say, the smallest coffins are the heaviest,” said Ahmed Rehab, executive director of Chicago Care.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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