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Biden condemns killing of 6-year-old muslim boy in alleged hate crime, suspect faces federal investigation

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A 6-year-old Muslim boy lost his life in a hate crime attack near Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday. The young boy and his mother, who was injured in the vicious stabbing, were reportedly targeted due to their faith. The suspect behind this horrifying act now faces a federal hate crime investigation, with President Biden issuing a statement to strongly condemn the attack.

Jill and I were shocked and sickened to learn of the brutal murder of a 6-year-old child and the attempted murder of the child’s mother in their home yesterday in Illinois. The child’s Palestinian Muslim family came to America seeking what we all seek — a refuge to live, learn, and pray in peace.

The mother and child were allegedly attacked by their landlord, 71-year-old Joseph Czuba, who now faces multiple charges, including two counts of hate crime, one count of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, and one count of aggravated battery, as reported by CBS Chicago.

The horrifying incident unfolded when the assailant, armed with a knife, confronted the mother and child in their residence. The mother managed to escape to the bathroom and called 911, but not before sustaining more than a dozen stab wounds. Tragically, the 6-year-old boy, identified as Wadea Al-Fayoume, suffered 26 stab wounds, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched a federal hate crimes investigation into this incident, identifying the mother as Hanaan Shahin. This brutal attack has further heightened the concerns of Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian communities in the wake of recent events, as mentioned in a DOJ statement. The department is committed to protecting every individual in the country.

President Biden expressed that this act stands in stark contrast to American values of freedom from fear based on religion, beliefs, or identity. He urged unity and the rejection of Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred. He emphasized that there is no place in America for hate against anyone.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago has expressed their grief, calling this incident their “worst nightmare.” Executive Director Ahmed Rehab conveyed their prayers and condolences to the victim’s family, highlighting the harrowing circumstances surrounding the attack.

According to CAIR-Chicago, Hanaan Shahin, the mother, managed to send text messages to the boy’s father from the hospital. She reported that the landlord, angered by news reports, knocked on their door, allegedly attempting to choke her and shouting hateful words before the stabbing that took her son’s life.

The landlord is currently awaiting an initial court appearance scheduled for Monday afternoon.

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