Congresswoman condemns ‘dehumanization of Palestinians’ after boy, 6, is fatally stabbed
The Biden-Harris Administration and members of Congress are condemning the slaying of a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy in Illinois over the weekend.
U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., told theGrio, “I want to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Wadea Al-Fayoume. His tragic death is a sobering reminder that Islamophobia and hate have no place in our society.”
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., told theGrio, “My heart goes out to his family, his mother who is still in critical condition, his friends, and to his community.”
“This violence and act of pure hatred is inexcusable. It is proof that dehumanizing the Palestinian people has horrible consequences; that when we plainly push forward one-sided, Islamophobic and bigoted rhetoric, it can serve as a death sentence,” said Bush.
She added, “It is shameful and it is deplorable. And it must stop.”
President Joe Biden issued a statement following the incident expressing he and first lady Jill Biden were “shocked and sickened to learn of the brutal murder of a six-year-old child and the attempted murder of the child’s mother in their home yesterday in Illinois.”
The president continued, “As Americans, we must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred.”
Vice President Kamala Harris also denounced the attack, saying in a statement, “hate has no place in America.”
“We unequivocally condemn hate and Islamophobia and stand with the Palestinian, Arab and Muslim American communities,” she said.
On Saturday, 71-year-old Joseph Czuba allegedly stabbed Wadea Al-Fayoume and his mother Hanaan Shahin, 32, in Plainfield, Illinois, a village located 40 miles southwest of Chicago. The stabbing is reportedly because of the Muslim faith.
Al-Fayoume, 6, was pronounced dead at a local hospital and Shahin, who was critically injured after sustaining over a dozen stab wounds to her body, is currently being treated at a medical facility and is expected to survive.
For the past two years, the Muslim family lived on the ground floor of Czuba’s home and reportedly resided there without incident until this past weekend.
Czuba faces several charges, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and two counts of committing a hate crime.
Officials investigating the crime believe the attack is connected to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
During a recent virtual press conference about the Israel-Hamas conflict Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., the only Palestinian-American in Congress, told reporters that this tragic ordeal comes on the heels of the Middle Eastern conflict and the media’s dehumanization of Palestinians.
“It is heartbreaking and infuriating to watch the dehumanization of Palestinians in the media and by prominent figures which is leading to…hate crimes here at home,” she said.
Congresswoman Tlaib told reporters that her constituents in Michigan are “now incredibly worried about being targeted.”
“I represent a large concentration of Muslim-Americans in the U.S. and we’ve already had to make an arrest of a person who threatened to come and hunt so-called, quote, Palestinians,” she added.
Rep. Omar told theGrio, “We must come together as a nation to condemn violence and discrimination against Muslim Americans or any group.”
“Just as we learned from the tragedy of 9/11, we cannot blame an entire religion for the actions of a few extremists,” said Omar.
“My heart breaks at the rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric and I urge all leaders and people to reject bigotry and embrace tolerance.”
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