PLAINFIELD, Ill. – A prayer vigil was held on Tuesday night in response to the tragic incident that recently shook the Plainfield community.
The event, organized with the aim to unite against hate, was a gathering to remember a child who was killed over the weekend, and his mother who is still on the path to recovery after a vicious stabbing attack. They were identified as Hanan Shaheen and 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume.
The Prairie Activity and Recreation Center’s basketball gym was filled to capacity, with people from all walks of life coming together to mourn the loss and show their support. The atmosphere in the gym was emotionally charged as individuals stood shoulder to shoulder, reflecting on the sorrow that has befallen their community.
In a moment of significance, Dilawar Syed, President Joe Biden’s highest-ranking Muslim official, addressed the crowd, emphasizing the importance of unity in the face of such adversity. However, some protesters seized the opportunity to voice their disapproval of the Biden Administration, resulting in their immediate removal from the gathering by police.
Religious leaders from different faiths within the area also took center stage, using their voices to call for an end to violence. Their collective message resonated throughout the crowd as they pleaded for harmony and understanding.
Mayor John Argoudelis of Plainfield expressed his shock and dismay at the tragic events that unfolded in their typically peaceful village.
“We were shocked to have something like this happen in Plainfield. We don’t have anything like it, and it has never happened like this. You hear about Highland Park a few years ago, the tragedy that happened up there so you never know when a thing like this can strike. And your first reaction is always shock,” said Argoudelis.
People from communities beyond Plainfield also attended the vigil to offer their support. Malina Echevarra traveled to show love to the Muslim community.
“Children are important regardless of their ethnicity or religion. As a Muslim woman, this was a Muslim child, and the Muslim children suffer without anyone speaking up for them,” said Echevarra.
Mayor Argoudelis confirmed that the village is actively working with the local mosque to address the safety concerns raised by some members of the Muslim community. Village officials are committed to engaging with these residents to identify and implement measures that would enhance their sense of safety and well-being.
In an effort to make a difference for the affected family, Big Sammy’s, a local restaurant, will host a fundraiser next Wednesday, October 25. The community hopes this event will provide support and aid during this challenging time.