US: Biden says ‘sickened’ by brutal murder of Palestinian-American boy in Illinois

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA): US President Joe Biden on Sunday denounced the murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy who was brutally stabbed to death by a 71-year-old man in the US state of Illinois.

An Illinois man was charged with hate crimes for the stabbingthe boy and injuring his mother. He targeted them for their religion and as a response to the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

The boy was stabbed 26 times with a military-style knife with a 7-inch (18-cm) serrated blade, the Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The 32-year-old woman had multiple stab wounds and is expected to survive the attack that occurred on Saturday in Plainfield Township, about 64 kilometres (40 miles) southwest of Chicago.

“Detectives were able to determine that both victims in this brutal attack were targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis,” the Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

“This was directly connected to dehumanizing of Palestinians,” said Abdelnasser Rashid, a Democratic Illinois state representative who is Palestinian American.

“(First lady) Jill and I 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,” said Biden in a statement.

“This horrific act of hate has no place in America and stands against our fundamental values: freedom from fear for how we pray, what we believe, and who we are,” he said.

Biden urged Americans to unite against Islamophobia in the wake of the killing.

“As Americans, we must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred. I have said repeatedly that I will not be silent in the face of hate. We must be unequivocal. There is no place in America for hate against anyone ,” he said.

“We join everyone here at the White House in sending our condolences and prayers to the family, including for the mother’s recovery, and to the broader Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim American communities.”

“The child’s Palestinian Muslim family came to America seeking what we all seek—a refugee to live, learn, and pray in peace,” he added.

The attacker, Joseph Czuba, stabbed Wadea Al-Fayoume to death and seriously wounded his mother in an motivated attack by their Islamic faith and the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“The Islamophobic rhetoric and anti-Palestinian racism being spread by politicians, media outlets, and social media platforms must stop,” CAIR said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Will County’s Sheriff’s Office said that based on a forensic pathologist’s examination, the boy was stabbed 26 times throughout his body.

His 32-year-old mother suffered over a dozen stab wounds. She is recovering and is expected to survive.

Czuba was charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of a hate crime.

Additional report by Agencies

[Map of US from CIA Factbook/Public Domain]

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