Copts and Robbers
09:50:12 (GMT 1-25-2005 15:50:12) Send to Printer
Email This Link
Watch we have received a large number of inquiries, both sober and frenzied,
about the Coptic family found murdered in Jersey
City last week.
As is well
known, the Copts in Jersey City
and elsewhere have many suspicions about this crime. But when they have voiced
these suspicions, they have been frequently denounced as "Islamophobes" -- an all-purpose term of abuse used to
silence criticism of Islam and of Muslims. And Hudson County Prosecutor Edward
DeFazio is dismissive of the idea that the killings were religiously motivated:
"Is it possible? Yes. Do we have anything that gives us reason to believe
this is what it was, factually? No. Nothing indicates that was the prime
motivation for this. That we can clearly say."
The media has widely accepted the idea that it was just a robbery.
enforcement officials have received information from at least one Copt -- a
close friend of the Armanious family -- indicating
that the crime was indeed religiously motivated. This family friend has said
that an imam in Jersey City
declared this Christian family's blood "halal,"
(i.e., licit to shed), because of their proselytizing activities among Muslims.
He has named -- by name -- a suspect in this crime, whose motive was religious
and who has fled the country.
there is nothing to this. Perhaps the man who has fled is innocent. But even if
he is, the Copts have had perfectly cogent reasons for their suspicions. The Armanious family was outspoken in trying to convert Muslims
to Christianity. Hossam Armanious
vigorously spread his faith at PalTalk, and his
15-year-old daughter Sylvia displayed similar zeal at Dickinson High School.
There is credible evidence that for this activity the family received a death
threat. In light of all that, it may be that what needs to be justified is the
idea that their deaths were in fact unrelated to that proselytizing activity.
Islamic law, the Sharia, has traditionally made it a
capital offense both for a Muslim to leave Islam, and
for a non-Muslim to attempt to convert a Muslim. Many Muslims take such laws
very seriously. The Theo van Gogh murder in the Netherlands indicates that at least
some will not hesitate to enforce Sharia penalties
even in the lands of the infidels.
But if the
killer is never caught, which is a distinct possibility since he could be half
a world away by now, Muslim spokesmen will attribute the suspicions of the
Copts to a "climate of hysteria" against Muslims, and portray
themselves -- as they do so often -- as victims.
larger question remains. If the Armanious family did
in fact receive a death threat related to their proselytizing on Pal Talk, what
are the implications for our free society? If the murders were indeed, as many
Copts suspect, a warning to them not to proselytize among Muslims, what does
that mean for the free exchange of ideas that has always been one of the
central values -- perhaps the central value -- of the American polity?
mainstream media has done a poor job of covering this case. It has not bothered
to explain that the difficulties Copts experience in Egypt are not "old" or
even "centuries-old" (as the New York Times put it) -- they are as
old as when the Muslim invaders first conquered Coptic Christian Egypt. They
don't come from anything Copts have said or done to Muslims, but from the
supremacist nature of Islamic beliefs. But in the media in general there has
been no understanding of this and no discussion of the Sharia
-- or of how apostates in Islam are to be treated, or of what punishment is to
be meted out to those who dare (as the Armanious
family dared) not to act as the despised and cowed minority they were in Egypt,
but as free and equal and proud citizens of this country.
statement has come from the Hudson County Prosecutors Office that shows any
sign that that Office has considered these questions, or fully investigated the
Copts' suspicions and allegations. This may not have been a Sharia-inspired
killing on American soil, but nothing that has yet come from Edward DeFazio or
anyone else seems to deal adequately with the indications that it was. White
House Wilsonians seem intent on bringing
"democracy" to Iraq,
as if that will somehow solve the problem of Islam, and of the jihad that they
persist in identifying solely by one of its tools, terrorism. Meanwhile, an
unknown number of Muslims in the United States -- possibly including
the killer of the Armanious family -- are working to
solve the problems of Islam by laboring, in one way or another, to bring Sharia to this country. But few are paying attention to
Assyrian International News Agency. All Rights Reserved. Terms of