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Chicago area residents mourn Muslim boy killed in alleged hate crime

Chicago area residents mourn boy killed in alleged hate crime because he was Muslim
Chicago area residents mourn boy killed in alleged hate crime because he was Muslim 02:53

PLAINFIELD, Ill. (CBS) -- There was an outpouring of emotion inside a packed gym in southwest suburban Plainfield Tuesday night where hundreds of people honored the memory of 6-year-old Wadee Alfayoumi, who was killed in an apparent hate crime.

CBS 2's Jermont Terry was in Plainfield where so many came out that organizers had to place a speaker outside because there was not enough room for everyone inside. The family said it showed people really cared.

A large crowd gathered in the gymnasium, a spot where Wadee would have loved to play basketball. But on Tuesday night, the crowd was there to honor and remember the boy.

"He didn't wear a sign or a necklace stating he was Muslim," said one speaker. "He wore a smile on his face."

Many in the room did not know the boy, but they sympathized with his father and family on his senseless murder.

"We are here tonight for hope, healing, and togetherness," said another mourner.

While hearts were heavy, the Plainfield community continued to wrap its arms around the grieving family. The memorial for Wadee keeps growing outside the house where his life ended and where his mother was also seriously injured. With clergy of all faith present, they called for an end to hate speech.

Wadee and his mother were targeted because they were Muslim, according to police. On Tuesday night, another child was pulled to the front to question how a child can be a danger.

And while the Plainfield community mourned, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago plans to bring all denominations together on Wednesday.

"To have the power of so many religious leaders representing such a diverse group of people to speak out against this type of speech," said G. Abdullah Mitchell, executive director of the CIOGC.

The director said remaining silent about Wadee's slaying and any hate speech is problematic.

"If a lie is allowed to be repeated over and over again, then we find people are starting to believe it," he said.

The boy's grandfather and father both told the crowd they were surprised that nearly 2,000 people attended his funeral of various denominations.

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