Murdered Muslim Boy's Mom Asks Public to 'Pray for Peace'

'He was my best friend,' says mother of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 24, 2023 6:40 PM CDT
Mom of Murdered Muslim Boy Asks Public to 'Pray for Peace'
Muslim community members mourn Wadea Al Fayoume at his grave in LaGrange, Ill., Oct. 16, 2023.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, file)

A Palestinian American woman whose 6-year-old son was killed in what police are calling a hate crime in a Chicago suburb has asked the public to "pray for peace" as she recuperates from her injuries. Hanaan Shahin issued a statement Tuesday through the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations after meeting with the group's executive director a day earlier. The written statement marked her first public comments since the brutal Oct. 14 attack that left her with more than a dozen stab wounds and stitches on her face, the AP reports. Authorities said the family's landlord singled them out because of their Islamic faith and as a response to the escalating Israel-Hamas war .

"Pray for peace," Shahin said, thanking authorities, doctors, and others. She was released from the hospital last week and has declined interviews with reporters. Shahin, who works as a caregiver to seniors, lost her son, Wadea Al-Fayoume, in an attack that has contributed to fears about rising hostility against Muslims and Palestinians in the US. Joseph Czuba, 71, faces murder, attempted murder, and hate crime charges. He is due in court next week.

Shahin, who was hospitalized during her son's funeral, remembered him as an intelligent and funny child who cared about the planet and liked to join her in prayers.She said she felt comforted "remembering her son as an angel on earth, and knowing that he is now an angel in heaven." She added, "He was my best friend."

(More hate crime stories.)

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