Copt out?

Knife_1Kathy Shaidle yesterday passed along a deeply disturbing story from the New York Post. Four Coptic Christians were slashed to death in their New Jersey home. One initial motive, fingered by the Post, was Islamic rage.

As the Post put it:

[Hossam] Armanious, an Egyptian Christian, was well known for expressing his Coptic beliefs and engaging in fiery back-and-forth with Muslims on the Web site

He “had the reputation for being one of the most outspoken Egyptian Christians,” said the source, who had close ties to the family.

The source, who had knowledge of the investigation, refused to specify the anti-Muslim statement. But he said cops told him they were looking into the exchanges as a possible motive.

The married father of two had recently been threatened by Muslim members of the Web site, said a fellow Copt and store clerk who uses the chat room.

“You’d better stop this bull—- or we are going to track you down like a chicken and kill you,” was the threat, said the clerk, who was online at the time and saw the exchange.

And voila! the guy’s family ends up on the wrong end of a couple of carving knives. Sylvia, Armanious’ would-have-been-16-year-old daughter, took “the most savage punishment,” according to the Post. The assailant “not only slit Sylvia’s throat, but also sliced a huge gash in her chest and stabbed her in the wrist, where she had a tattoo of a Coptic cross.”

And that’s one side of the story. The local police are playing down the religion angle as much as possible, arguing that it was instead a robbery gone horribly wrong. According to the Jersey Journal, the four people were bound and their deaths were the result of a loss of blood from “puncture wounds to their heads, necks, and bodies, not from slit throats as was previously reported.”

Regarding speculation that this family of Copts was killed for their vocal religious beliefs, the local prosecutor said, “A lot of things are being reported (and) I think we have to be circumspect before assuming any motive in this case.” In the New York Times, a special agent of the FBI warned that his agency’s involvement in the investigation “does not mean that a hate crime took place.”

Some official Muslim groups have claimed that, whatever the identity of the killers, they were not acting with the moral sanction of Islam.

At the risk of pouring gasoline on a raging fire here, the evidence that has been made available to the public makes it sound very much like law enforcement, in full-spin mode, wants to sweep this one under the rug.

“Slit throats” vs. “puncture wounds to their necks”? Come on! Spokesmen for the local police have said that, contrary to the Post report, there wasn’t a lot of money or jewelry at the Armanious residence, but it is well within the realm of the possible that a wannabe jihadi would have removed these things in an attempt to throw the cops off his trail.

I should add that I abominate the very idea of hate crimes, where somehow weighing motives becomes more important than condemning actions. What could be more hateful than a murder? Why should we tack ten years on to someone’s sentence because he used a racial epithet while he was decapitating someone, or because he calls the victim a dirty infidel?

However, if we tweaked the situation a bit — say Egyptian Muslim immigrants were murdered and rabid Presbyterians were suspects — it’s hard to imagine law enforcement would be campaigning so vigorously against drawing conclusions, or that the press would by and large go along with that suggestion.

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  • Dan Crawford

    Thank you for once again pointing out the lengths to which normal, thoughtful and even intelligent human beings becoming mindless when confronted with obvious evidence indicating something is rotten at the heart of Islam. Perhaps Muslims had nothing to do with the murders but the contortions the DA and police and FBI are going through in the characterization of the evidence suggest something more is going on here.

  • dw

    Remember when the Hunters Brooke housing addition in Maryland went up in flames a few months ago? Everyone started ganging up on every left of Nature Conservancy environmental group for “promoting” the “eco-terrorists” that supposedly burned down the houses. There was a lot of hand-wringing and a lot of brickbat swinging by the Washington Times…

    …and then it turned out that eco-terrorists hadn’t done it. It was a disgruntled set of individuals who acted for revenge and possibly racial reasons. No eco-terrorism whatsoever. The police retreated quickly, but the taint is still there. Some bloggers rationized it by saying that these people used TACTICS that eco-terrorists used (and therefore eco-terrorists are tangentially guilty).

    So, if the police are going slowly, it’s for good reason. And you should back off too, Jeremy. Maybe all this Washington governor chaos is giving you the red mist….

  • Marion R.

    Yes. And of course there was that racing to conclusions about the murder of Matthew Shepherd.

  • united christian in world

    انÙ*ا لحادثØ(c) رÙ*يØ(r)Ø(c) Ø(tm)لك الØ(tm)ى Ø(tm)جعل اشخاصا يقØ(tm)لون Ø(r)عضÙ*م فاشعر اننى فى غاØ(r)Ø(c) مليئØ(c) Ø(r)القØ(tm)لØ(c) والوحوش

    الرØ(r) يحفظنا

    جماعØ(c) المسيحيين المØ(tm)حدين فى العالم

  • Jeremy Lott

    Care to translate?

  • Sal

    Many of you out there dont know how bad this has affected the Christain Orthodox religion. Many of you do not really know whats been going throughout Egypt and many other islamic countries. So therefor many of you can not say that it is better to just back off and not do anything. I am not here to be rascist or discriminate against anyone but think of it like this…if someones motive was just to rob the houselhold and thats all #1 they would pick a house which contains a large amount of money #2 they wouldn’t do it when the people where home…#3 usually in robbery’s the robber will just shoot the person or stab them, they would not go through all that trouble if they just wnated to rob someone..this is truely a way for the police to cover up and calm down the christain orthodox religion. All over Egypt crimes like this are happening and by MUSLIMS, for some reason muslims seem to cover up all the time proclaiming that in their religion they can do no wrong and that it couldn’t be someone from there religion..oh theres yet they are the ones who believe in suicide bombing? as long there is a justified reason for killing someone then its ok..theres no problem with it?..yea ok..i am a strong believer in my religion and i am taught to love all people and respect all diversities within people, yet i believe this truly was a hate crime done because of the Armanious’ familys religious backround..the police know there will be a religous war that will occur over this if the word gets out that the real reason for the murder was because they where christain orthodox Honestly…i believe that justice should be served …I DEMAND JUSTICE, yet i know i will never recieve it for people fear muslims..and why?..because they arent afraid to compassion..yet..believe this..christains do not fear you..if thats what your hoping for because our strong belief in GOD our savior and lord, lets us fear no one but him. I know ill be getting many complaints about what im saying..but if anyone can prove me wrong that in the koron itself it doesn’t state anything about killing for an acceptable reason or that there isn’t en evident trace in the way teh Armanious family was murdered with those christains that get murdered in Egypt please…i would love to know im wrong…im not the type of person to jump to conclusions or assume things..but there is so many clues that point to the truth…and no i dont believe all muslims are def. not saying that…what im saying is that in the religion it does…does…promote anger and violence..yet not all people in that religion act upon it,i have many peers who believe in the islamic religion and they know my beliefs and some agree some dont..but then again we do live in america..a free country..well so they say..and i am entitled to freedom of speech just as long as i am not untruthfully descripting wrongful characteristics to someone/thing…all i have left to say is ..sylvia and monica i love you both and i know your safe with GOD theres no one left to hurt you and i believe that through God, justice will be served one way or another..R.I.P Armanious’ll always be remembered…