Illinois boy killed in alleged hate crime remembered as kind, playful as suspect appears in court

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Religion

BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) — A 6-year-old Palestinian American boy who authorities allege was stabbed 26 times by his landlord in response to escalating right-wing rhetoric on the Israel-Hamas war was being remembered as a kind child, while multiple authorities investigate the attack that has become a symbol of larger struggles with hate crime in the U.S.Crowds of mourners in the heavily Palestinian Chicago suburb of Bridgeview, paid respects Monday as Wadea Al-Fayoume was buried. His mother, who was also critically injured in the attack that led to condemnation from local elected officials to the White House, remained hospitalized.
At a Tuesday evening vigil at a community center, Plainfield Mayor John Argoudelis said he had learned that Wadea liked his Lego toys and playing basketball and soccer and said Wadea sounded like a typical all-American boy.
“We are united,” the mayor said, noting that representatives of many faiths were standing at the front of the gymnasium. “We are first and foremost here to mourn the loss of this young man and to support you, his family.”
Mahmoud Yousef, Wadea’s uncle, spoke to the crowd with the boy’s father standing beside him. Yousef thanked people for coming and said he was touched by the wide variety of people in attendance Tuesday night and for Monday’s funeral service.
“I believe this gathering here is for our children,” he said. “These days, a lot of Muslim communities are keeping their kids home. They’re scared. They’re afraid. But today, everybody came here for their own children, not just Muslim children.”
During funera …

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