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January 19, 2005

A Call Against Hate: On the Massacre of a Coptic Family in New Jersey

Comments (6)

By Ayman S. Ashour

Monica-Armanious-150.jpgAs I read about the brutal slaying of a Coptic Christian Egyptian American family in New Jersey today in the Boston Globe, I began to feel sick, physically sick. Sometimes, there is just so much stupidity, hate and anger to have the courage, or just even the motivation, to say anything to confront it all. It seems like all is futile, that the horrible, the extreme, the hateful, are destined to win, and we simply have to resign ourselves to losing out and watching horrible crimes committed in the name of defending our faith.

We Muslims quickly cry out and say this murderer could not be a Muslim. I respectfully disagree. If it is indeed a Muslim who brutally killed this family then that is a fact we have to accept, we can't simply say he or she is not a Muslim.

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Not to equate the verbal hatemongering by some Egyptian Christians reported in the news story with the brutal killing of the family, but this cuts both ways too. Hate breeds hate, and more hate breeds anger; add a dose of ignorance and you see the results: killings, mass killings, and massacres. This is the story in New Jersey, and this was the story in Srebrenica, and this is the story in Kashmir and Palestine and the 9/11 catastrophes too.

We can't keep saying those who say the nasty things about Copts are not true Muslims and those who force conversions, or kill innocents, are not true Muslims and wash our hands. We have to own up to the fact that Islam and other religions are being hijacked by ignorant extremists and we must, absolutely must, find a way to speak up and to reclaim Islam as a religion of mercy and compassion, a religion of reason, of thoughtful jurisprudence, not of summary justice and beheadings. We have to say this loud and clear and consistently, not just when it is a crime that can cause a backlash or embarrassment.

As a Muslim, as an American, as an Egyptian, as a human being… my heart weeps for the blood of the innocent family, for their loved ones, for the desperate state of affairs and for the silence of the majority of Muslims and of Copts who have failed their ONE God and their country through falling into traps of hate, vindictiveness and vengeance.

Tonight, alone, I look at the pictures of the young beautiful Egyptian family, and I shed a tear for my old home, Egypt, for my adopted home, America, and for my long hijacked faith, Islam.


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Posted by ahmed at 09:51 AM | Comments (6)


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