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Slaying of 4 may be tied to (Islamic) religious extremism (NJ Christian family had throats slit)
Bergen Record ^ | Sunday, January 16, 2005 | TOM TRONCONE

Posted on 01/16/2005 5:22:26 AM PST by dead

Islamic extremists may have murdered four members of a Coptic Orthodox family found bound, gagged and with their throats slit on Friday in their Jersey City home, a law-enforcement official familiar with the case said.

The official confirmed that Hudson County investigators, as well the FBI, were "knee-deep" in pulling computer records and were coming to terms with the possibility that the family may have been targeted for death because of exchanges about religion in an Internet chat room.

The official cautioned, though, that investigators have not ruled out other possibilities, such as a robbery gone awry.

Hossam Armanious, 47, Amal Garas, 37, and their daughters Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8, were found dead in their Oakland Avenue home early Friday after family members alerted police that nobody had heard from them in days.

First Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor Guy Gregory declined to discuss any details of the case, other than to confirm that police have ruled out a dispute the family had with a former tenant as a possible motive. He cautioned against speculating about the motive behind the murders.

"This is a very delicate investigation and one where we have spent hours at the scene collecting evidence and with the evidence collection complete, we're moving to bring in people that we feel need to be interviewed," Gregory said. "It's unfortunate that people are speculating."

But as the theory spread that revenge and religion were the driving forces behind one of the most heinous murders in the county's long history, fear enveloped the city's Coptic community.

Friends, relatives and co-worshippers of the devout family spent much of Saturday wondering how the seemingly upstanding Armanious family could fall victim to such a shockingly brutal crime. Several spoke of Hossam Armanious' participation in heated discussions about the Islamic faith on the Paltalk.com messenger service and threats he received for expressing his views about the religion.

Milad Garas, an uncle of Amal Garas, said Saturday that he was told investigators are probing whether the killings could have been prompted in part by the chat sessions. He also pointed to a passage in the Muslim holy book, the Quran, that details how enemies should be killed - bound and their throats slit, an assertion that drew a rebuttal from some Islamic scholars, but was supported by others.

A translation of passage 47:4 of the Quran reads in part: "Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers [in fight], smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly [on them]."

"There is a very wide range of interpretation of that, and it depends on where people are in the spectrum," said Frederick M. Denny, a professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado and author of more than a dozen books on Islam. "If they were going toward the extremist side, it could lead someone to believe it is justified. ... There are those that take that [passage] quite literally."

The close-knit Coptic community promised protests if the religious revenge theory proves accurate.

"If it turns out they were killed for religion, then we will [protest]," said Ayman Garas, Amal's younger brother. "We have to be patient, we can't do anything stupid. ... But it looks like it is religion, maybe."

The Armanious family moved to the United States from Egypt in part to escape religious persecution. Hossam Armanious had sensed a rise in anti-Christian extremism and wanted to make a better life for his family in America, Ayman Garas said.

"What I really want to know is: How?'' he said. "We just can't believe it at this point. Everything has passed like a dream."

The details of what may have been said in the chat sessions were not known Saturday night.

Fred Ayad, deacon of the couple's St. George Coptic Orthodox Church, said that the entire community was in a "panic" over the apparent targeting of the family, as well as the murders of a Coptic deacon in December and a Coptic cabdriver in late 2003.

Prosecutor Gregory said the conjecture about the murders is hampering his office's investigation, which he said has been exhaustive.

Copts are Egyptian Christians, a minority group of about 6 million in a nation of 60 million, and have been killed in religious rioting and during attacks on Christian churches by Islamic militants. Coptic leaders also say they lack representation in the Egyptian government and are treated like second-class citizens.

Over the past decade, Copts have increasingly immigrated to the United States. Currently, they number about 1 million in this country. Coptic Orthodox churches are scattered throughout the nation and, while there is no official count, Coptic Web sites list about 10 large congregations in New Jersey and about 20 in the tri-state area.

Islamic leaders said Saturday that the murders could not have been the work of someone inspired by the Quran.

"We are not a bloody people," said Ahmed Shedeed, director of the Islamic Center of Jersey City. "This is not from the Quran. This is not from Islam at all."

Shedeed, who is Egyptian, said his group recently co-founded a social service organization with local Coptic churches, called Egyptian Family.

"We are trying to get religious leaders from both communities to meet on a monthly basis to break the ice between the people," he said. "We meet as individuals, but as organizations we never have done such a thing. We are trying to show that Egyptians together can benefit."

Shedeed said that as part of that effort, he attended Christmas Eve services at St. George's this year.

Asked about passages in the Quran that may suggest murdering non-believers in a manner that resembles the family's deaths, he replied, "The Quran talks about people fighting in the battle of war. It's not talking about people who live next to you. ... This has nothing to do with our community at all."

"The Quran stands very firmly against taking human life," said noted Islamic author Zayn Kassam, chairwoman of the religious studies department of Pomona College in California. "If someone read a verse and used it to justify the killing of four people, I believe that person is unbalanced. ... There are very few Muslims who would support this sort of thing."

On Saturday, the family received mourners at the church, as friends left lighted candles and flowers in front of the home. Neighbors talked of an exhaustive police investigation, with a former Armanious tenant, Nelly Ramirez, saying police had questioned her, her son and her son's girlfriend.

Meanwhile, friends of Sylvia, a high school sophomore who would have turned 16 on Saturday, lingered in front of the house, alternately crying and laughing. They talked of an extremely gifted teen who recently won a trip to Italy from the National Honor Society for a series of essays she wrote on topics such as Shakespeare and Charles Dickens.

"She used to write all the time," said her friend Jankil Patel, 15. "She used to go to church all the time. ... She'd debate people in class and even had a religious tattoo on her [right wrist]."

"She had a lot of friends; she was very popular," said Jessica Cimino, 15, another friend. Cimino and the other girls said they plan to attend the family funeral on Monday and wear T-shirts bearing Sylvia's image to school on Tuesday.

Ayman and Milad Garad and other family members were allowed into the crime scene for the first time on Saturday morning to gather the needed paperwork for the cemetery. They left the home with a briefcase and several other items, including a tank with several small turtles inside.

Staff Writer Kathleen Carroll contributed to this story. E-mail: troncone@northjersey.com


TOPICS: Breaking News; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: New Jersey
KEYWORDS: aliens; anothermissedstory; antichrist; armanious; comingtoyourhomenext; coptic; dhimmi; extremism; foxnewsasleepagain; gihad; holywar; islam; islamofascism; jerseycity; jihadinamerica; jihadtsunami; koran; koranimals; mediamissliketsunami; muslims; nicejobmedia; nukemecca; quran; religionofpeace; religionofpieces; terrorism; trop; war; waronterror; whereiscair; whereiscnn; whereisfnc; whereismsnbc; whilethemediasleeps
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1 posted on 01/16/2005 5:22:27 AM PST by dead
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To: dead
Ooops! I forgot to mention the religion of the alleged extremist perpetrators in the title!

Now nobody will know until they read the whole article.

2 posted on 01/16/2005 5:23:41 AM PST by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: dead
Site Meter
I read about this story in the Saturday NY Post...I was getting some work done on the car and waiting in the shop...I was sickened, just dreadfully, awfully sickened. It would nout surprise me if Extreme Islam did have something to do with their deaths. It seems perfectly clear to me that this family was a shining example of what is good and decent.
3 posted on 01/16/2005 5:25:23 AM PST by KMC1
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To: dead

I hate Islam


4 posted on 01/16/2005 5:25:56 AM PST by Rightly Biased (Ecclesiastes 10:2 (don't be lazy look it up))
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To: dead
Friends, relatives and co-worshippers of the devout family spent much of Saturday wondering how the seemingly upstanding Armanious family could fall victim to such a shockingly brutal crime.

Funny, I didn't wonder for a millisecond.

5 posted on 01/16/2005 5:26:43 AM PST by ReadyNow (A teacher of math)
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To: dead
This is the town next to mine. There have been mailed threats to Copts in the area. They were "convert or die" type letters. The one I saw reported included details of that persons daily routine.

Scary stuff.
6 posted on 01/16/2005 5:27:35 AM PST by e5man_r_u? (A Man's mission: Build, Protect, Provide)
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To: dead

The MSM better deal with this loud and clear. If Christians had slit the throats of Muslims, there would be howling at the moon.


7 posted on 01/16/2005 5:28:56 AM PST by tkathy (Ban all religious head garb.)
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To: MarMema; Kolokotronis; Destro; kosta50; Agrarian

Orthodox bump!


8 posted on 01/16/2005 5:29:22 AM PST by NYer ("In good times we enjoy faith, in bad times we exercise faith." ... Mother Angelica)
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To: dead

Once again the "religion of Peace" (or is it a bloody religion after all?) has demonstrated its true nature. The
question is how far will the mainstream media and our govt.
go to suppress this and keep it from ever being reported as a Hate Crime. This does NOT bode well for America--unless
we remove all Muslims to communities where they cannot be
released to prey upon their neighbors in compliance with their bloody religion (Koran and Hadith)Screw CAIR Never
met a Muslim-nor a homosexual I could consider equal.


9 posted on 01/16/2005 5:29:46 AM PST by StonyBurk
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To: dead
"Islamic leaders said Saturday that the murders could not have been the work of someone inspired by the Quran. "We are not a bloody people," said Ahmed Shedeed, director of the Islamic Center of Jersey City. "This is not from the Quran. This is not from Islam at all.""

HUH?
10 posted on 01/16/2005 5:32:15 AM PST by dAnconia (The government cannot grant rights,but it can protect them. Or violate them.)
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To: tkathy
If Christians had slit the throats of Muslims, there would be howling at the moon.

And of course it would be "Bush's Fault".

11 posted on 01/16/2005 5:33:52 AM PST by antivenom (If your not living on the edge, you're taking up too much damn space!!!)
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To: dead
"We are not a bloody people," said Ahmed Shedeed, director of the Islamic Center of Jersey City. "This is not from the Quran. This is not from Islam at all."

Around the world, the contrary is being demonstrated.

12 posted on 01/16/2005 5:34:30 AM PST by Jagdgewehr
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To: dAnconia; dead
"This is not from the Quran. This is not from Islam at all."

Very true, Moslems would never take innocent life or convert by the sword...or blow up buldings/air planes....or detonate bombs in markets....or behead people....or....

/sarcasm(in disgust)
13 posted on 01/16/2005 5:36:34 AM PST by e5man_r_u? (A Man's mission: Build, Protect, Provide)
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
Please remember our Orthodox brethren in your prayers! The Catholic Church has a Coptic Rite, as well. If it happened to these Orthodox christians, it can happen to the catholics too.

ALEXANDRIAN
The Church of Alexandria in Egypt was one of the original centers of Christianity, since like Rome and Antioch it had a large Jewish population which was the initial object of apostolic evangelization. Its Liturgy is attributed to St. Mark the Evangelist, and shows the later influence of the Byzantine Liturgy, in addition to its unique elements.

Coptic - Egyptian Catholics who returned to communion with Rome in 1741. The Patriarch of Alexandria leads the 200,000 faithful of this ritual Church spread throughout Egypt and the Near East.  The liturgical languages are Coptic (Egyptian) and Arabic. Most Copts are not Catholics.

Ethiopian/Abyssinian - Ethiopian Coptic Christians who returned to Rome in 1846. The liturgical language is Geez. The 200,000 faithful are found in Ethiopia, Eritrea,  Somalia, and Jerusalem.
CATHOLIC RITES AND CHURCHES

Catholic Ping - please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


14 posted on 01/16/2005 5:36:35 AM PST by NYer ("In good times we enjoy faith, in bad times we exercise faith." ... Mother Angelica)
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To: Rightly Biased

I don't like extremists, zealots, or fanatics of any kind.


15 posted on 01/16/2005 5:37:40 AM PST by nuconvert (No More Axis of Evil by Christmas ! TLR)
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To: dead
Ooops! I forgot to mention the religion of the alleged extremist perpetrators in the title!

Fixed, thanks.

16 posted on 01/16/2005 5:38:37 AM PST by Lead Moderator
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To: dead

So, is this a "hate crime"?


17 posted on 01/16/2005 5:39:45 AM PST by demlosers
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To: StonyBurk

Let no one doubt we are indeed at war."Asked about passages in the Quran that may suggest murdering non-believers in a manner that resembles the family's deaths, he replied, "The Quran talks about people fighting in the battle of war. It's not talking about people who live next to you. ... This has nothing to do with our community at all."


18 posted on 01/16/2005 5:40:16 AM PST by eastforker (Ask me about a free satellite TV system!)
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To: demlosers
So, is this a "hate crime"?

Only if the MSM hates the perpetrators!
19 posted on 01/16/2005 5:41:50 AM PST by e5man_r_u? (A Man's mission: Build, Protect, Provide)
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To: e5man_r_u?
"Moslems would never take innocent life or convert by the sword...or blow up buldings/air planes....or detonate bombs in markets....or behead people....or...."

....or brutalize women....or torture infidels....

/nods sadly
20 posted on 01/16/2005 5:42:27 AM PST by dAnconia (The government cannot grant rights,but it can protect them. Or violate them.)
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To: dead
"Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers [in fight], smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly [on them]."

"The Quran stands very firmly against taking human life...If someone read a verse and used it to justify the killing of four people, I believe that person is unbalanced. There are very few Muslims who would support this sort of thing."

CAIR and their minions are either in self-denial or being deliberately deceptive. They drill this 'kill the infidels' thing into their heads from birth, then wonder why they obey.

21 posted on 01/16/2005 5:43:47 AM PST by Sender (Team Infidel USA)
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To: demlosers; Annie03
"So, is this a "hate crime"?"

Not to the PC Police.
TROP ping.
22 posted on 01/16/2005 5:45:44 AM PST by dAnconia (The government cannot grant rights,but it can protect them. Or violate them.)
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To: dead

The internet chat room angle, eh? How would the jihadi's get the Armanious family's name and address? Unless he was foolish enough to give it out that is.


23 posted on 01/16/2005 5:46:00 AM PST by prairiebreeze (George W Bush: Spending well-earned political capital.)
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To: nuconvert

You left out cold-blooded murderers.


24 posted on 01/16/2005 5:48:01 AM PST by mlc9852
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To: tkathy
If Christians had slit the throats of Muslims, there would be howling at the moon.

any chance there is something that the media and authorities are hiding?

25 posted on 01/16/2005 5:48:02 AM PST by alrea (HELP WANTED. New Jersey Director of Homeland Defense; must be willing performer.)
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To: dead; EdReform; NativeNewYorker; Thinkin' Gal; mrflashrifle; dennisw; SJackson; MeekOneGOP; ...
They really are alive and well in the U.S.

"This is an amazing book. Brilliantly argued and meticulously documented, this book contains a devastating expose of the murderous deceit behind contemporary apologists for militant Islam--in the media, political arena, academia and "mainstream" radical Islamic groups. Read this book to learn why Islamic extremism is dangerously entrenched within the institutional Islamic leadership in Saudi Arabia and the United States."
-- Steven Emerson, author of American Jihad: The Terrorists Living Among Us and Director of the Investigative Project



26 posted on 01/16/2005 5:48:05 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: nuconvert

If they start this crap over here, we must snuff it out asap. Or they will be acting out their sordid beliefs at will.


27 posted on 01/16/2005 5:48:37 AM PST by DooDahhhh
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To: NYer

Close to home NYer. Lets hope the FBI gets to the bottom of this. Even if they do, though, it won't make the national news you can be sure. The lives of Christian immigrants don't count for any more than unborn babies to the Left if it means saying anything bad about the meteor worshippers.


28 posted on 01/16/2005 5:48:58 AM PST by Kolokotronis (Nuke the Cube!)
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To: Sender
""The Quran stands very firmly against taking human life..."

This sentence states it....they don't consider infidels to be human.
29 posted on 01/16/2005 5:49:03 AM PST by dAnconia (The government cannot grant rights,but it can protect them. Or violate them.)
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To: dead
The official confirmed that Hudson County investigators, as well the FBI, were "knee-deep" in pulling computer records and were coming to terms with the possibility that the family may have been targeted for death because of exchanges about religion in an Internet chat room.

I wonder how many are targeted from Free Republic..................

30 posted on 01/16/2005 5:50:13 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: dead

Islam is evil. This country had better wake up. Muslims are liars and murderers.


31 posted on 01/16/2005 5:50:52 AM PST by mrfixit514
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To: dead
What's CAIR's statement on this anti-Christian atrocity?

Oh nothing, it's just a barbaric murder. Not as horrible as an episode of "24."

32 posted on 01/16/2005 5:51:23 AM PST by Alouette (Learned Bubbie of Zion)
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To: dead
"Islam has bloody borders" --Samuel P. Huntington

It appears that Jersey City is now one of those "bloody borders".

33 posted on 01/16/2005 5:52:34 AM PST by Gritty ("Hair-raising screams will be squeezed from the lungs of the non-believers"-killer of Theo VanGogh)
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To: Calpernia; jerseygirl; Velveeta; Revel; DAVEY CROCKETT; SevenofNine; lacylu

Ping


34 posted on 01/16/2005 5:53:43 AM PST by nw_arizona_granny (The enemy within, will be found in the "Communist Manifesto 1963", you are living it today.)
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To: dead
"We are not a bloody people," said Ahmed Shedeed, director of the Islamic Center of Jersey City. "This is not from the Quran. This is not from Islam at all."

...as their spirits cry from the grave, YOU LIAR.

35 posted on 01/16/2005 5:54:00 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: dAnconia
"Islamic leaders said Saturday that the murders could not have been the work of someone inspired by the Quran. "We are not a bloody people," said Ahmed Shedeed, director of the Islamic Center of Jersey City. "This is not from the Quran. This is not from Islam at all.""

Matthew 7:15-20
15 “Be careful of false prophets. They come to you looking gentle like sheep, but they are really dangerous like wolves. 16 You will know these people by what they do. Grapes don’t come from thornbushes, and figs don’t come from thorny weeds. 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, but a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not produce good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 In the same way, you will know these false prophets by what they do.
36 posted on 01/16/2005 5:54:01 AM PST by fallujah-nuker (I like Ike.)
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To: 1bigdictator; 1st-P-In-The-Pod; 2sheep; 7.62 x 51mm; A Jovial Cad; A_Conservative_in_Cambridge; ...
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel ping list.

WARNING: This is a high volume ping list

37 posted on 01/16/2005 5:55:00 AM PST by Alouette (Learned Bubbie of Zion)
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To: dead

Just repeat to yourself "Islam is Peaceful, Islam is Peaceful" President Bush.


38 posted on 01/16/2005 5:58:04 AM PST by Guillermo (Tsunami relief: http://compassionservices.com)
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To: SheLion

I think I would be in trouble for sure...if I were targeted!


39 posted on 01/16/2005 5:58:23 AM PST by mdmathis6
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To: dead
The Religion Of PeaceTM is taking out hits on Christian families in the United States. Throat slitting ... killing women and children ... all the things the world has come to know and loath about The Great Islamic FaithTM. May the Prophet (pork be upon him) be praised.
40 posted on 01/16/2005 5:58:55 AM PST by spodefly (This message packaged with desiccant. Do not open until ready for use or inspection.)
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To: Vigilantcitizen; .45MAN; SLB

ROPMA Ping.


41 posted on 01/16/2005 5:58:55 AM PST by FreedomPoster
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To: Peach; Mo1

Not good, not good at all ping


42 posted on 01/16/2005 6:01:33 AM PST by prairiebreeze (George W Bush: Spending well-earned political capital.)
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To: nuconvert

I am a conservative zealot, extremist and fanatic. Most of my family gets agitated at me cause I will not budge on conservatism and I push it as much as I push Christianity.

That said I would never Kill those that oppose my views;like say Islam does. Therefore I hate Islam!!


43 posted on 01/16/2005 6:04:59 AM PST by Rightly Biased (Ecclesiastes 10:2 (don't be lazy look it up))
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To: dead
"We are not a bloody people," said Ahmed Shedeed, director of the Islamic Center of Jersey City. "This is not from the Quran. This is not from Islam at all."


44 posted on 01/16/2005 6:05:16 AM PST by No Blue States
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To: mdmathis6
I think I would be in trouble for sure...if I were targeted!

There is quite a group in here and we follow all the news coming from the Islam, the Mosque's and the terrorist.

I can't do anything about it but be aware.

This is a very frightening issue, to say the least.

45 posted on 01/16/2005 6:07:50 AM PST by SheLion (God bless our military members and keep them safe.)
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To: dead
["There is a very wide range of interpretation of that, and it depends on where people are in the spectrum," said Frederick M. Denny, a professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado and author of more than a dozen books on Islam. "If they were going toward the extremist side, it could lead someone to believe it is justified. ... There are those that take that [passage] quite literally."]

A liberal lefty pretending to be a professor and a fool to boot. With liberal babblers, the language is used for double talk and deception; read Ann Coulter's book " How to talk to a liberal, if you must."
The liberal national socialist movement has all the trimmings of Hitler's national socialist movement of the 1930's and is following their fascist agenda more closely than the Marxist communist agenda did in Russia.
Christians and Jews had best wake up in America and begin to fight the good fight against home bred fascists as well as Islamic terrorists. And if some still believe that Christians and Islam serve the same God, read both the Bible and the Quaran to understand the immense differences of the LORD of Hosts and the devil god known as Allah. The Islamic Quaran states that Jews and Christians are to murdered and unbeliever's converted to Islam with the sword or enslaved to Muslims. How come the experts and politically correct liberals rarely come to such knowledge; it's available by reading yet most liberal experts have an agenda and care little about truth until their throats are slit by these murderer's.
46 posted on 01/16/2005 6:09:14 AM PST by wgeorge2001 (Ge.1: 26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominio)
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To: dead

hopefully the muzzies used their home computer for the FBI to trail. We have a very big muslim problem in this country. I personally reported 7 to the FBI. In Islam their are 2 kinds of muzzies, those that murder and those that support the murderers!!!


47 posted on 01/16/2005 6:11:52 AM PST by Luigi Vasellini
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To: dead
There is a another lesson that needs to be digested here along with "who done it".

Many Christians fled from these countries precisely because they were the targets of Islamic persecution. When we finally have enough of these Islamic fanatics in this country and start doing something about them, we want to make sure these Arab Christians aren't victimized by the reaction of those who are indescriminately after "all ragheads" and consider everyone from these countries as coming from the same root.

There are many decent, Christian Arabs in America. These victims were four of them.

48 posted on 01/16/2005 6:13:35 AM PST by Gritty ("Go for the houses of the kafir, where you can loot and come back"-Sheikh Abu Hamza)
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To: dead
"If someone read a verse and used it to justify the killing of four people, I believe that person is unbalanced. ... There are very few Muslims who would support this sort of thing."

Yeah, but it's happening ...

49 posted on 01/16/2005 6:14:54 AM PST by BunnySlippers (When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest! - Bullwinkle J. Moose)
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To: prairiebreeze

I just saw that. Very disturbing indeed.


50 posted on 01/16/2005 6:15:53 AM PST by Peach (The Cl intons pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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