Muslim Boy Fatally Stabbed Near Chicago; Biden Issues Statement

"As Americans, we must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred."
Close Up Shot Focused on Yellow Tape Showing Text Police Line Do Not Cross. Restricted Area of a Crime Scene. Bokeh Background with Flickering Siren Lights. Forensics Team Working on a Case
gorodenkoff/Getty Images

A 71-year-old landlord in the Chicago area allegedly stabbed a Muslim mother and her six-year-old son on Saturday, causing serious injury to the mother and killing the boy.

Joseph M. Czuba has been charged with first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, hate crime (2 counts), and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, according to the Will County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities say Czuba “targeted” the mother and boy “due to them being Muslim and the on-going Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis.” Czuba has yet to “make any statements to detectives regarding his involvement in this heinous attack,” authorities added.

A statement from the sheriff’s office says deputies located the two victims inside a bedroom, both with “multiple stab wounds to their chest, torso, and upper extremities.” The mother, 32, “had over a dozen stab wounds to her body” and is “recovering from her injuries at a local area hospital and is expected to survive this brutal attack.”

The boy, who succumbed to his injuries at a nearby hospital on Saturday, was stabbed 26 times, according to a forensic pathologist. The knife used in this attack was a “twelve-inch serrated military style knife that has a seven-inch blade,” police said.

Joseph M. Czuba (age 71) of Plainfield, who is a suspect of murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian-American boy, is seen in Illinois, United States on October 16, 2023.

Illinois Sheriff’s Office / Handout/Anadolu via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Sunday issued a statement on the attack, condemning Islamophobia.

“Jill and I were shocked and sickened to learn of the brutal murder of a six-year-old child and the attempted murder of the child’s mother in their home yesterday in Illinois,” the statement said. “The child’s Palestinian Muslim family came to America seeking what we all seek—a refuge to live, learn, and pray in peace.”


“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,” the Bidens said. “As Americans, we must come together and reject Islamophobia and all forms of bigotry and hatred. I have said repeatedly that I will not be silent in the face of hate.  We must be unequivocal. There is no place in America for hate against anyone.”

“We join everyone here at the White House in sending our condolences and prayers to the family, including for the mother’s recovery, and to the broader Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim American communities,” the statement closed.

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