CAIR-Chicago Calls For Hate Crime Charge for "You Muslims Must Die" Killing Of Palestinian-American Child

Laments “Atmosphere of De-Humanization” Created by One-Sided Political Statements & Media Reporting

(CHICAGO, IL, 10/15/2023) - The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Chicago), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today decried the stabbing to death of a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy and the stabbing of his mother as "our worst nightmare."

SEE: 8-year-old boy killed, woman critically injured in Plainfield stabbing: Will County Sheriff's Office

CAIR-Chicago is expressing full confidence that local authorities would investigate and prosecute this repugnant attack as a hate crime.

CAIR-Chicago is again calling on officials and broadcasters to reconsider fanning an atmosphere of hate and de-humanization, not seen since the aftermath of 9/11 which puts communities at certain risk.

SEE: CAIR-Chicago Reports Spike in Hate Messages, Community Concerns Received After Outbreak of Mideast Violence, Laments “Atmosphere of De-Humanization” Created by One-Sided Political Statements & Media Reporting


CAIR-Chicago is holding a press conference with the father of the deceased boy today at 3:30 to discuss the incident, details below:

WHAT: Press Conference Discussing Murder of Palestinian-American boy and stabbing of mother

WHEN: Today, Sunday October 15, 2023, at 3:30PM

WHERE: MCC (Muslim Community Center), 4380 N Elston Ave. Chicago IL 60641

WHO: CAIR-Chicago Executive Director, Ahmed Rehab, and Oday Al-Fayoume, father of the deceased boy.


The mother, Hanaan Shahin, and her son Wadea Al-Fayoume had lived on the ground floor of the house for two years with no previous notable issues with the landlord, reported as 71 year old Joseph Czuba.

According to written text messages sent to the father of the boy by the mother from the hospital and shared with CAIR-Chicago, the landlord who had been angry with what he was seeing in the news knocked on their door, and when she opened, he tried to choke her and proceeded to attack her with a knife, yelling "you Muslims must die!"

When she ran into the bathroom to call 911, she came out to find that he had stabbed her six-year-old son to death. (Previous media stories erroneously reported that he is eight). "It all happened in seconds," she texted.

"Our hearts are heavy, and our prayers are with the darling boy and his mother," said Ahmed Rehab, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director. "As we await the official investigation of the local authorities, what we can confirm at the moment is that we have a murdered child in his own home, a six-year who had just celebrated his birthday a couple of weeks ago, and a mother lying in the hospital in serious condition, both stabbed over a dozen times. And we have testimony from the mother as to the harrowing moments that unfolded in terms of what was done and said - and it is our worst nightmare.

Six Year Old Wadea Loved Basketball and Soccer according to his father (photo authorized for relase by the father)

"We have full confidence in the authorities to investigate this heinous incident as a hate crime and to do so swiftly."

CAIR-Chicago said the suspect was in custody.

"In a press release issued October 11th, Rehab warned:


“[One-sided] statements issued by public officials and one-sided reporting by the media has [helped] create [a] lop-sided atmosphere in which members of our community are essentially sitting ducks. This is doubly concerning because we had come to believe that we had learned the hard lessons from the darkest days of flippant Islamophobia in the years after 9/11 where the lack of balanced leadership of our elected leaders, and the irresponsible and biased reporting by the media directly contributed to hanging our communities out to dry."

CAIR-Chicago is renewing its call for responsible leadership and balanced media coverage of the crisis in the Middle East. "This unthinkable senseless crime did not happen in a vacuum," Rehab warned again.


CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. 

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CONTACT: Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago, 202 870 0166,; Erin P.R. Davis, MCM, Communications Coordinator of CAIR-Chicago, 773-802-8786,

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