Vous aimerez cet écrit : DOJ Launches Hate Crime Probe Into Killing Of Muslim Boy

Vous aimerez cet ecrit DOJ Launches Hate Crime Probe

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The Justice Department has launched a hate crime investigation into the brutal killing of a 6-year-old Palestinian American boy and the serious wounding of his mother in Illinois over the weekend.

Local police arrested a white man who was the Muslim family’s landlord on murder and hate crime charges related to the stabbing of Wadea Al-Fayoume and his 32-year-old mother, Hanaan Shahin, in their home in the Chicago suburb of Plainfield on Saturday.

The landlord, 71-year-old Joseph Czuba, is accused of stabbing Wadea 26 times. Czuba also allegedly stabbed Shahin over a dozen times, and officials have said that she is in serious condition but expected to survive.

Text messages Shahin reportedly sent from the hospital to her son’s father described Czuba as having shouted, “You Muslims must die!” before he attacked her with a serrated military-style knife, according to CAIR-Chicago. Plainfield police also said that the mother and son “were targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis.”

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said that he was “heartbroken” by the “abhorrent killing” of Wadea and vowed that the Justice Department would investigate the events leading to the attack on the family.

“This incident cannot help but further raise the fears of Muslim, Arab and Palestinian communities in our country with regard to hate-fueled violence,” Garland said. “The Department of Justice is focused on protecting the safety and the civil rights of every person in this country. We will use every legal authority at our disposal to bring to justice those who perpetrate illegal acts of hate.”

“No one in the United States of America should have to live in fear of violence because of how they worship or where they or their family come from.”

Wadea Al-Fayoume celebrated his sixth birthday earlier this month. The Justice Department has launched a hate crime probe into the boy's killing.
Wadea Al-Fayoume celebrated his sixth birthday earlier this month. The Justice Department has launched a hate crime probe into the boy’s killing.

Wadea’s parents emigrated from the occupied West Bank about a dozen years ago. They rented the ground floor of a house belonging to Czuba for two years. Wadea, who turned 6 earlier this month, will be buried on Monday after a funeral prayer at a mosque.

On Sunday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) called the attack on Wadea and his mother a hate crime, adding that the murder of a child “in the name of bigotry is nothing short of evil.”

The attack comes amid an increase in hate speech and dehumanizing language from right-wing Israeli officials and some American politicians toward Palestinians and Muslims after Hamas militants launched a deadly assault on Israel earlier this month. Israel has since launched a counterattack on Gaza that has led human rights activists and groups to warn of ethnic cleansing.

Over the weekend, GOP presidential candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis falsely claimed that all Palestinians are antisemitic and would promote “anti-Americanism” if the U.S. took in fleeing Gazans as refugees. Israeli President Isaac Herzog justified bombing Palestinian civilians by claiming all residents of Gaza are responsible for the violence in the region. Israel’s defense minister said Israel was fighting “human animals,” and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said Israel should “bounce the rubble” in Gaza.

“We welcome the federal hate crime investigation and hope this tragic case will remind public officials and commentators why they must end dehumanizing anti-Muslim, anti-Palestinian bigotry when speaking out about the ongoing violence in the Middle East,” CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell said on Monday.

“Media outlets, political leaders and major corporations have spent more than a week ignoring the suffering of the Palestinian people, justifying war crimes against Palestinians, and spreading inflammatory propaganda and misinformation aimed at Muslims and Palestinians here in America,” he continued. “This must end. Now.”

President Joe Biden himself has contributed to the spread of potential misinformation regarding the violence and has repeatedly proclaimed the U.S. government’s unwavering support of Israel in its counterattack. Biden was also delayed in acknowledging the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the violence that Palestinians have been experiencing.

On Sunday, Biden said that he was “shocked and sickened” by Wadea’s killing and that Americans “must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred.”

“The child’s Palestinian Muslim family came to America seeking what we all seek – a refuge to live, learn and pray in peace,” Biden said. “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.”

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Author: Isabelle LOUBEAU