By Maryam Qarehgozlou
The gruesome murder of a 6-year-old Palestinian Muslim boy in the US state of Illinois by his landlord, who also critically wounded his mother, came days after US media and politicians peddled lies about Israeli children being "beheaded" by Palestinians.
Joseph Czuba, a 71-year-old white supremacist Islamophobe from Plainfield, stabbed Wadea Al-Fayoume 26 times on Saturday and seriously wounded his mother because they were Muslims.
The slain boy’s mother Hanaan Shahin, 32, was reportedly stabbed more than a dozen times and is currently battling for her life in the intensive care unit of a local hospital.
“Both victims in this brutal attack were targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis,” Will County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement, referring to the Israeli regime’s genocide of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Washington-based Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, shared text messages sent by Wadea’s mother to his father.
According to the group, when the woman opened the door, the hate-spewing landlord attempted to choke her first and then immediately stabbed her, yelling “You Muslims must die!”
The mother frantically ran to the bathroom to call police and in the blink of an eye she found that the 71-year-old man had also stabbed her 6-year-old son. “It all happened in seconds,” she wrote in a text.
At a news conference on Sunday, Ahmed Rehab, the CAIR executive director, said the family did not see it coming as Czuba previously shared a good relationship with his Muslim tenants, even building a tree house for Wadea, bringing him toys and allowing him to swim in a makeshift pool.
But he was incensed by the news regarding developments in the Gaza Strip, Raheb said, connecting the dots between the Muslim boy’s gruesome murder and the disinformation campaign about Palestine.
‘You Muslims must die!’: US man stabs boy 26 times— Press TV (@PressTV) October 16, 2023
A 71-year-old white man in the US state of Illinois motivated by anti-Palestinian rhetoric has stabbed a 6-year-old Muslim boy 26 times and seriously injured his mother. #GazaGenocidehttps://t.co/8rACgv9Wyw
Palestinian resistance group Hamas launched the ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Storm’ (Also known as Al-Aqsa Flood) on October 7 and broke through the regime’s much-hyped security systems following the recurrent desecration of al-Aqsa Mosque and the rising tide of violence against Palestinians.
The Israeli regime responded with indiscriminate bombing of the densely-populated coastal strip, targeting civilians and flattening Gaza’s infrastructure, not even sparing hospitals and homes.
The regime’s genocidal campaign was accompanied by rampant disinformation that sought to demonize and dehumanize Palestinians and legitimize the unprecedented military action against them.
To support their blatant pro-Israel bias, mainstream Western media led by the CNN news network began pushing a coordinated disinformation campaign, particularly against the Hamas resistance group.
Social media platforms, such as Elon Musk’s X, have been also awash with false and misleading posts, and fake footage of past events linking them with what’s unfolding in the occupied territories.
One of them was the fabricated news of “40 babies beheaded by Hamas resistance fighters.”
The hoax circulated on social media networks at a dizzying pace and was amplified by prominent Western politicians and social media influencers, including US President Joe Biden.
On October 10, Nicole Zedek, a journalist for Israeli news channel i24, in a live broadcast from Kfar Aza kibbutz near the Gaza border, claimed that an Israeli soldier had told her they “witnessed… bodies of babies with their heads cut off.”
Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesperson Tal Heinrich repeated the unverified claim even though the 124 correspondent had failed to provide evidence to back her claim.
CNN said Heinrich had confirmed the report of beheaded babies, and quoted another Israeli military official as saying that he had “never seen anything like this” in his military career.
US President Joe Biden also jumped on the bandwagon and irresponsibility amplified the unverified claims, saying he had seen pictures of the mutilated infants.
“I never really thought that I would see and have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children,” he said in his remarks on Wednesday, joining the disinformation crusade of the Zionist regime.
The White House had to walk back Biden’s claims. It announced that the US president had not in fact seen any images but his comments were based on news reports and claims by Israeli officials.
Without any clinching evidence, the false claims of children being beheaded and women being raped made headlines and were used to justify Israel’s horrendous war crimes and collective punishment of civilians in Gaza.
The Western media, biased in favor of the Israeli regime, have resorted to one-sided narratives by amplifying unsubstantiated claims, manipulating the truth, and fueling anti-Muslim hate crimes.
The incident in Illinois is directly connected to lies peddled by the Western media and political leaders such as Biden, so they are directly complicit in the cold-blooded murder of 6-year-old Wadea.
Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestine, unrelenting persecution of Palestinians and the regime’s project of settler-colonialism have rarely been evaluated critically by Western media.
In the wake of Operation Al-Aqsa Storm, Westerners have become obsessed with condemning Hamas while the regime’s actions over the past several decades have been conveniently ignored.
Hamas is a resistance movement that is fighting for the rights of Palestinians and for the liberation of occupied territories. The operation they launched has to be seen in the context of what has been unfolding in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank in recent years.
The Zionist disinformation project, promoted by the Western media, is aimed at deflecting attention from real truth – the truth of who is the oppressor and who is the oppressed.
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