WASHINGTON D.C. — Ben Crump, civil rights and personal injury attorney, is set to represent Hanan Shahin, mother of Wadea Al-Fayoume, the 6-year-old Palestinian boy fatally stabbed 26 times by his 71-year old landlord, Joseph M. Czuba, in Plainfield Township, Illinois, near Chicago. The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) said it is proud to co-counsel with the Ben Crump Law Firm on this case.
The tragic incident occurred nearly eight days after Al-Fayoume’s sixth birthday celebration. Shahin was stabbed 12 times and is still recovering, according to official reports.
Czuba has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of hate crimes and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
“There is no tolerance for hate crimes and hate speech in America, and a 6-year-old boy should never have to pay the price for hate-fueled behavior. The pain endured by the Al-Fayoume family is immeasurable,” Crump stated in a press release. “No family should have to bear such a devastating loss, compounded by the burden of overwhelming medical bills. We must come together as a society not only to seek justice for Wadea, but also to support this grieving family in their time of need. Just as we did for Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, we must ensure that Wadea’s name is heard loud and clear. May his name serve as a reminder that in a civilized society there is no place for hate, racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or xenophobia.”
The CAIR Chicago office that leads the Arab and Muslim community within the greater Chicago region has joined together to honor Al-Fayoume. CAIR Chicago is a non-profit Muslim civil rights organization.
“We thank and commend Mr. Ahmed Rehab and the leadership of CAIR Chicago for providing unwavering support to the family and guidance to the community, Will County and Plainfield Township officials, and everyone who has publicly and privately shown support,” ADC officials said.
“This is a profoundly tragic case that has directly impacted our community,” said Abed Ayoub, ADC national executive director. “This troubling trend is a stark consequence of excluding Arab Americans from the broader umbrella of inclusivity and equality. We will be vigorous in pushing back against hate, bigotry and ensuring that those responsible are held accountable. We must stand united in our conviction, ensuring that Wadea’s legacy endures as a potent reminder that hatred and intolerance have no place in a just and compassionate society.”
“We live in the United States of America, a nation established on the bedrock of inclusivity and equality. Unfortunately, there is a concerning surge of hatred within our borders,” said Lana Nasar, ADC national board member. “As individuals of this diverse country, it is our collective responsibility to raise our voices in support of our fellow citizens. Our message is clear: Arab Americans, Muslim Americans, Jewish Americans and all Americans of our diverse society require our support. We must work together to protect the human rights and lives of all.”
If you or someone you know or has been a victim of a hate crime, please reach out to ADC at firstname.lastname@example.org.