Faith leaders gather to denounce violence, condemn murder of Plainfield boy in apparent hate crime

ByRob Hughes WLS logo
Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Faith leaders denounce violence, condemn alleged Plainfield hate crime
Religious leaders of different faiths came together in a united front Wednesday in downtown Chicago to share a message of peace and denounce hate.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A united front and a shared message of peace came from different religious leaders Wednesday in downtown Chicago.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago called a news conference to condemn the brutal killing of Wadea Al-Fayoume.

The different faith leaders all shared their own unique version of the same message, condemning the alleged hate crime that took the life of the 6-year-old Plainfield boy and denouncing hate-inspired speech of any kind.

It was an example of how people with completely different backgrounds can come together for a shared cause. They made a plea to treat others as you wish to be treated, no matter the differences.

"We're all people of faith that respect life, wherever that is," said Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago Chairman Abdulgany Hamadeh. "That whatever faith, tradition you are should be respected. And we need to come together in unity to condemn violence condemn injustice."

Nearly a dozen different religious leaders took to the podium to speak.

Three women representing the American Jewish Committee were in attendance. They said they felt it was important to be there in support.

"The Muslim community here in America deserves to be supported," said Chicago Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee Sarah van Loon. "They deserve to be surrounded by their community, and that's why it's important for us at the American Jewish Committee that we're here. That we show up. We may not agree on everything, and that's okay. But we agree that they deserve peace and safety and security whether that's here in Chicago, or Plainfield or around the world."

The group ended the news conference in prayer and a call for peace among all people.

One of the final messages from a Muslim faith leader was "the freedom of speech is not a license to hate."