State Representative Abdelnasser Rashid (21st) and River Forest Village President Cathy Adduci publicly expressed their condolences last week after the murder of Wadea Al-Fayoume and his injured mother, Hanaan Shahin.
Rashid did not mince words in linking the hate crime to the ongoing Middle East conflict and dehumanizing media coverage. He said that such media coverage and irresponsible statements from elected officials contributed to the tragedy.
“Let’s not sugarcoat it: this hate crime is a result of the dehumanizing, one-sided media coverage of Palestinians and irresponsible statements from elected officials,” said Rashin in a statement. “Israeli spokespeople have been using genocidal language about Palestinians on news channels every day for the past week.”
Rashid criticized the Israeli military’s actions and called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza to prevent further loss of life in Illinois and the Middle East.
“We can and must do better than this,” Rashin said. “I call on President Biden, elected officials, and all people of good conscience to condemn this heinous killing and to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza so that no more of our children are killed here in Illinois or in Palestine and Israel.”
Adduci echoed some of his sentiment.
“Let’s keep the people who live in this area and are currently fleeing their homes seeking safety in our thoughts,” Adduci said in the email statement.
She also condemned the violence occurring in the Middle East, emphasizing the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the River Forest community.
Adduci reminded residents of the resources available for those affected by the ongoing crisis, including support from the Thrive Counseling Center.
The quiet community of Plainfield Township, Illinois, was rocked by a shocking hate crime that left a 6-year-old boy dead and his mother seriously wounded.
Wadea Al-Fayoume, a young Palestinian-American, was stabbed 26 times in his home in what is now being investigated as a hate crime.
The attack occurred in response to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East, as the suspect reportedly targeted the victims due to their Muslim faith.
The incident has sent shockwaves through the local and national communities, prompting statements from politicians and raising concerns about rising hate and bigotry in the United States.
The crime took place in an unincorporated area of Plainfield Township, about 40 miles southwest of Chicago.
The Will County Sheriff’s Office, in a statement on social media, reported that they discovered Wadea’s 32-year-old mother, Hanaan Shahin, with multiple stab wounds, while the young boy was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Autopsy results revealed that the child had been stabbed dozens of times. This brutal attack has been met with condemnation and shock from local residents and officials.
In recent days, the United States has witnessed increased tensions related to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, with law enforcement agencies on high alert for potential acts of violence fueled by antisemitic or Islamophobic sentiments.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), along with Jewish and Muslim advocacy groups, have reported a spike in hateful and threatening rhetoric.