Illinois — A crowd in a Chicago suburb with a large Palestinian population mourns a 6-year-old Muslim boy, the victim of an alleged racial hate crime, as authorities revealed new details of the evidence used to charge the homeowner. of the attack on the boy and his mother.
Wadea Al-Fayoume He died on Saturday, the victim of a savage stabbing attack that was condemned by authorities, from the town to the White House. Authorities said the homeowner, Joseph Czubawas upset by the war between Israel and Hamas and attacked them when the mother proposed that they pray for peace.
In Bridgeview, home to a large Palestinian community, family and friends remembered Wadea as a lively boy who loved to play. They carried his body in a white coffin—at times draped in a Palestinian flag—through a crowd.
The imam of the Mosque Foundation, Jamal Said, reflected on the death of the child during the janazah, or funeral service, and also on the death toll in the war between Israel and Hamas.
“Wadea is a child and he is not the only one who is being attacked”he said, adding that “many children are being literally massacred in the Holy Land, which unfortunately is very sad”.
Mahmoud Yousef, the boy’s uncle, remembered Wadea as a typical 6-year-old boy, active, playful and kind. He cited a text message from his mother, who is still recovering from her injuries, according to which his last words were, “Mom, I’m fine.”
“Yes that’s fine”Yousef said. “He’s in a better place”.
Hours earlier, Czuba appeared in court for the first time to answer charges of murder, attempted murder and racial hate crimes. In explaining the charges Sunday, the Will County sheriff’s department determined that “the two victims of this brutal attack were targeted by the suspect because they were Muslims and the ongoing conflict in the Middle East between Hamas and the Israelis”.
Czuba, a Plainfield resident, said “yes, sir” when asked if he understood the charges, and was later transported to the jail in Joliet, 50 miles southwest of Chicago. A Will County judge appointed him a court-appointed attorney. The public defender’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the charges.