Muslim boy killed in America in hate crime inspired by Israel-Hamas war

Chicago: A 71-year-old Illinois man has been charged with a hate crime after allegedly stabbing a 6-year-old boy to death and seriously injuring a 32-year-old woman. Police claim they targeted the victims because of their Islamic faith and in response to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

The incident happened late Saturday morning in an unincorporated area of Plainfield Township, southwest of Chicago, the Will County Sheriff’s Office reports. According to their statement, officers found the woman and the boy at a residence. The boy, identified as Wadia al-Fayoum, a Palestinian-American who had recently turned 6, was pronounced dead at a hospital, having been stabbed multiple times. The woman suffered multiple knife wounds but was expected to survive.

The Will County Sheriff’s Office said that during the attack, the woman bravely called 911 and fought off her attacker, later identified as Joseph Czuba, who was found near the residence with a wound to his forehead. . The victims were found in a bedroom, with multiple stab wounds to their chest, torso and upper limbs. A serrated military-style knife with a seven-inch blade was recovered from the boy’s stomach during the autopsy.

When police arrived they found Kazuba sitting on the ground near the driveway of the residence with a cut on his forehead. He was taken to hospital for treatment before being charged with several crimes.

Kazuba has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of hate crime and assault with a deadly weapon. He remains in custody awaiting a court appearance.

‘Horrible act of hatred’: Biden

US President Joe Biden condemned the deadly stabbing attack, which police have linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, calling it a “horrible act of hatred.”

“This horrific act of hate has no place in America, and it goes against our core values: how we pray, what we believe and who we are, freedom from fear,” Biden said in a statement. ” He said he is praying for his recovery. The boy’s mother, who was also seriously injured in the attack.

Recently, law enforcement agencies across the United States, along with federal authorities, have become alert due to an increase in violence motivated by anti-Semitic or Islamophobic beliefs. Jewish and Muslim organizations have seen an increase in hateful and threatening language on social media platforms.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) identified the victims and condemned the crime, calling it “the worst nightmare.” Ahmed Rehab, head of CAIR’s Chicago office, told reporters, “He knocked on the door and attempted to strangle her, and said, ‘You Muslims’ have to die.”

The organization highlighted a worrying increase in hate calls and emails since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. Family text messages indicate that the attacker made derogatory comments about Muslims.

(with inputs from agencies)