"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance

 and a people who mean to be their own governors

 must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Armanious Family Murder - Hate Crime Or Robbery?

More than month ago the Armanious family was found brutally murdered in their home and police have still not announced a suspect. Police have suggested the murder was for money. But almost no one in Jersey City's Coptic community is accepting that. Because, rightly or wrongly, there is a real fear in this tightly knit immigrant community of Egyptian Christians that police don't want to find the real perpetrators of this crime.

After the murder, a photo of Hossam Armanious and his wife was posted on a radical Muslim Web site Barsomyat.com, with this message: "This is a picture of the filthy dog, curser of Muhammad and a photo of his filthy wife, curser of Muhammad. They got what they deserved for their actions in America. They were slaughtered along with their children as a punishment from the heavens to those who curse the most divine of all who were created."

Investigators recently told a New Jersey newspaper that they still believe the murders were about money, even though relatives of the victims said the Armanious family did not have hidden wealth. Police say the house was ransacked and money was taken, but relatives said almost nothing was taken.

Ayman Garas is Mrs. Armanious’ brother. He said, "It's out of the discussion if you even say robbery. This is not acceptable. It's not robbery, no." Family members also wonder why, if it was robbery, did Amal Armanious still have a $3,500 ring on her finger when her body was found?

But some are wondering if there is political pressure to somehow turn an anti-Christian hate crime into a robbery. Coptic Christians said they came to America to be protected from Muslim extremism. But many now feel as if America is letting them down. One woman said, “Our families in Egypt are under this type of threat every single day. Keep this story alive. Remember these people, these people were normal human beings asleep in their homes."



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