Killing of Wadea al-Fayoume

2023 stabbing of a child in Plainfield, Illinois

On 14 October 2023, Wadea al-Fayoum, a six-year-old Palestinian-American child, was killed when he was stabbed 26 times in his home in Plainfield, Illinois, in an event that authorities described as an anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian attack. His mother Hanaan Shahin (32 years old) was also stabbed and suffocated, resulting in serious injuries. Authorities have described the killing as a hate crime motivated by Islamophobia, anti-Palestinianism and due to watching propaganda videos in the context of 2023 Israel–Hamas war.[1][2]

Killing of Wadea al-Fayoume
Part of Hate crimes related to the 2023 Israel–Hamas war
LocationPlainfield, Illinois, USA
DateOctober 14, 2023 (2023-10-14)
c. 11:30 a.m. (CDT)
Attack type
Child homicide, stabbing, strangulation
WeaponMilitary knife
DeathsWadea al-Fayoume
Hanaan Shahin
PerpetratorJoseph Czuba
MotiveAnti-Palestinianism, Islamophobia



The suspect, 71-year-old Joseph M. Czuba, has been arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder and hate crimes. If convicted, he faces life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.[3] Shortly after his death, a vigil for al-Fayoume was held at a local basketball court in Plainfield to mark his love for the sport.[4]


  1. Blistein, Jon (30 October 2023). "Man Pleads Not Guilty to Murder, Hate Crime Charges in Stabbing Death of Palestinian-American Boy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 25 December 2023.
  2. "Landlord fatally stabbed 6-year-old Muslim boy after listening to conservative radio, prosecutors say". Chicago Sun-Times. 16 October 2023.
  3. "Palestinian-American boy killed and his mother injured after landlord stabs them because they were Muslim, authorities say". CNN. 15 October 2023.
  4. "Vigil held for 6-year-old boy fatally stabbed in apparent hate crime". WGN-TV. 17 October 2023.