In a sad and emotionally charged moment, a moving speech was delivered at the funeral for 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume, who tragically lost his life due to a senseless act of violence. The speaker, Imam Omar Suleiman, is an American Muslim scholar, civil rights leader, writer, and public speaker. He is the Founder and President of Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research. An adjunct professor of Islamic Studies and a member of the Ethics Center Advisory Board at Southern Methodist University. Imam Omar Suleiman called upon those gathered to reflect on the profound loss. As well as the larger context of the ongoing struggles faced by Palestinian children.
The speech began with a powerful quote attributed to the mother of Wadea. Echoing the sentiments of Emmet Till, whose mother once said, “Let the world see what they have done to my boy.” In her absence, it fell to the community to convey this message. Imploring the world to witness the tragedy in Wadea. Imam Omar Suleiman urged the audience to recognize that every Palestinian child shares the same innocence and beauty as Wadea. He emphasized that every child has an equal right to be mourned.
The grief experienced in the loss of Wadea extends to all Palestinian children who have suffered under similar circumstances.
Omar Suleiman Confronting the Roots of Hatred: A Call to Unmask the Broader Context
The speech also highlighted the need to condemn the hatred that claimed Wadea’s life. Pointing out that this condemnation extends to the broader context of violence against Palestinian children. Imam Omar Suleiman stressed that mere expressions of sympathy and condolences are insufficient without a genuine commitment to address the root causes and injustices. Omar Suleiman challenged everyone to consider how an individual’s mind must cultivate such a level of hatred to brutally attack a 6-year-old child-like Wadea, urging the audience to delve deeper into the tragedy and contemplate the roots of this heinous act.
In a poignant plea for empathy and reflection, Imam Omar Suleiman called upon the audience to assess their humanity. He expressed concern for those who could not shed tears after such a heartbreaking loss. Describing it as a deficiency in one’s sense of humanity. The speech drew attention to the ongoing suffering of Palestinian children in the region. From those pulled from the rubble to those denied access to essential healthcare facilities. The speech highlighted how some settlers, with government support, subject Palestinian children to daily acts of violence.
The speech ended with a powerful message: the shared responsibility to treat every child with love, compassion, and care. No child should ever have to bear the burden of the actions of others. The speech emphasized that certain settlers, with the support of governments, perpetrate daily acts of violence against Palestinian children. In the wake of Wadea’s tragic death, the speech is an essential reminder of the urgent need for empathy, understanding, and justice for all Palestinian children who have suffered and continue to suffer in the conflict.