The Asian American Foundation (TAAF) Statement Following the Hate-Fueled Murder & Attack in Plainfield Township, Illinois

(San Francisco, CA, October 15, 2023)- Following the fatal stabbing of a six-year old Palestinian American boy and vicious attack of his 32-year old mother for being Muslim, TAAF Chief Executive Officer Norman Chen (or The Asian American Foundation) issued the following statement in response:

We are horrified to hear of the hate-motivated murder of six-year-old, Palestinian American Wadea Al-Fayoume and the vicious attack on his mother, Hanaan Shahin, in Plainfield Township, Illinois. Wadea was stabbed 26 times by a man who yelled, “You Muslims must die.”

Our Arab, South Asian, and Muslim American communities continue to experience deep and profound bigotry and discrimination which escalated greatly in the wake of 9/11 and continues to this day. We refuse to allow anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, and antisemitic backlash from the Israel-Hamas conflict to take place in the United States. We categorically condemn all hate-fueled violence and reject the normalization of harassment and discrimination directed towards any individuals or communities. 

We send our deepest condolences to the family and Arab and Muslim American communities and wish for the swift recovery of Hanaan Shahin, who remains in serious condition.” 

About TAAF

TAAF serves the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in their pursuit of belonging and prosperity that is free from discrimination, slander, and violence. Founded in 2021 in response to the rise in anti-Asian hate and address the long standing underinvestment in AAPI communities, TAAF invests in best in class organizations working to mobilize against hate and violence, educate communities, and reclaim our narratives through our core pillars of Anti-Hate, Education, Narrative Change, and Resources & Representation. Through our grants, high-impact initiatives and events, we're creating a permanent and irrevocable sense of belonging for millions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. For additional information about TAAF, please visit