Durbin, Duckworth, Ramirez, Underwood Introduce Resolution Honoring Wadee Alfayoumi

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, along with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Delia Ramirez (D-IL-03) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) introduced a resolution honoring Wadee Alfayoumi, a six-year-old Palestinian-American boy who was murdered as a victim of a hate crime for his Palestinian-Muslim identity in Plainfield, Illinois on October 14th.  In addition to Durbin and Duckworth, the resolution is cosigned by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ).

“Targeting someone based on their ethnicity or religion is un-American, and targeting an innocent child based on those characteristics is pure hatred,” said Durbin. “Our nation mourns with the family of Wadee Alfayoumi, a mere child who was taken too soon.  By introducing this resolution, we are honoring and remembering his life and condemning all forms of hate.  We must keep speaking out against anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab, and anti-Muslim hate everywhere.”

“My heart breaks for the family of Wadee Alfayoumi, the precious, innocent 6-year-old who lost his life in an unimaginably cruel way, just because of his Palestinian Muslim identity,” Duckworth said.“This barbaric, cold-blooded murder was a chilling act of hate against the Palestinian community in Illinois, and we must do everything in our power to denounce and stop more hatred and violence. I’m proud to introduce this resolution with Senator Durbin and Representatives Ramirez and Underwood today honoring Wadee’s life and legacy. May his memory live on and serve as a reminder that we must be united in our shared goal of ending—rather than perpetuating—the needless suffering of innocent human beings.”

“Months after the cruel murder of Wadee Alfayoumi, a 6-year-old Palestinian-American child full of dreams, his death and his family's pain weigh heavily on my heart. The rise of hate crimes, anti-Palestinian racism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and hateful rhetoric is taking precious lives away from our communities and putting all of us in grave danger. We must ensure that no other children, families, or communities suffer as a result of vile rhetoric,” said Ramirez. “Back in December, joined by Representatives Lauren Underwood, Sara Jacobs, and Bonnie Watson Coleman, I decided to take a stand against hate and introduce the first version of the Wadee Resolution. Today's bicameral reintroduction of the resolution to honor the life of Wadee and condemn hatred that makes us all less safe is a testament to a growing coalition for peace and life. I thank Senators Durbin and Duckworth, Wadee's family, and human rights advocates for their leadership in upholding our sacred shared humanity.”

“Wadee Alfayoumi was a beautiful boy who brought so much joy and light to our community in Plainfield. He deserved to live a full and happy life. Instead, he was killed in a brutal attack driven by bigotry and bias,” Underwood said. “Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian hate have no place in Illinois, or anywhere in our country, and I’m honored to have worked with Wadee’s family, leaders in our community, and my colleagues in Congress on this resolution that honors his life and memory.”

Full text of the resolution is available here.