View Full Version : Mudered Family Laid To Rest

01-17-2005, 02:54 PM
(01/17/05) JERSEY CITY - Family members and friends say their final good-byes as a family of four murdered in Jersey City was laid to rest Monday.

The bodies of 47-year-old Hossam Armanious, his wife, 37-year-old Amal Garas, and two daughters, ages 16 and 8, were found with their throats slashed in their home Friday. Police say there was no sign of forced entry into the home. Mourners say the killings may have been religiously motivated.

The Armanious family immigrated to the United States in 1997. The funeral was held at St. George & St. Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, where the family was active. Investigators are following several leads in the murders, but no arrests have been made. The Coptic Business Association of Jersey City is offering a $500,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.


The family had emigrated to the US to escape the constant persecution that Christians are subjected to in Egypt.

Jersey City is home to many Egyptian Coptic Christians, it also home to many Muslims.

The blind sheik Abdel Rahman, who was convicted for his part in the bombing of the World Trade Center in NYC, lived in Jersey City. There he spewed forth his venomous 'sermons' against infidels and Americans calling for terror and Jihad.

Investigators believe that the family was targeted due to the dad's internet denouncement of the repression of Copts in Egypt by the Muslim majority.

As I was driving home today I caught a report on a local all-news radio station. The report said that a local Muslim imam showed up at the funeral and was smirking and smiling. The imam had to be escorted out by the police because the mourners were so outraged that the police feared that the Muslim cleric would be lynched.

Yeah, it's a 'religion of peace' alright (keep saying that or they'll kill you). /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif


01-18-2005, 06:21 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr>...it's a 'religion of peace' ...<hr /></blockquote>

welcome to the 7th century

01-18-2005, 07:28 AM
Muslim-Christian tensions erupt at funeral

By Wayne Parry, Associated Press Writer | January 18, 2005

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Authorities insist a theory that a Muslim angry over Internet postings was responsible for the slaying of an Egyptian Christian family is just one of several under investigation.

But the theory -- embraced as fact by some -- has touched off a new round of anti-Muslim sentiment in a city still stinging from a post-Sept. 11 backlash.

Grief and rage erupted Monday at the funeral for the slain family members, who were found bound and fatally stabbed in their home early Friday. Mourners fought in the street, with many blaming Muslims for the deaths.

As the coffins were carried through the streets to St. George &amp; St. Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, one protester's sign, above a photograph of the smiling Armanious family read: "American Family Beheaded on American Soil. Welcome Bin Laden." Others declared: "Terrorists Reached Our Home" and "Bush: Crush Sleeper Cells."

Church official Amil Sarofiem begged for order.

"Get out! We don't need any talk about Sept. 11 or Muslims!" he yelled to a man who was shouting anti-Muslim slogans.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that Hossam Armanious, 47, his 37-year-old wife, Amal Garas, and their daughters, Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8, were slain by someone angered over postings that Armanious, a Coptic Christian, wrote in an Internet chat room. The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the oldest communities in Christendom, believed to have been founded in the first century A.D. by the apostle Mark.

Authorities say the killings could have occurred during a robbery since no cash or valuables were found in the home. Prosecutor Guy Gregory said the father's wallet was found empty.

The Armanious family had been active in the church since immigrating to the United States in 1997 from Egypt, where Copts generally live in peace with Muslims.

The 2,000 mourners included about two dozen Muslims who took off their shoes as a sign of respect and placed them near the entrance to the church, just as they do in their mosques.

"We feel this is something that was very far away from our community," Ahmed Sheded, president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City, said after the service. "A real Muslim can't do that."

Link (http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/01/18/muslim_christian_tensions_erupt_at_funeral/)

01-18-2005, 08:07 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SecaucusFats:</font><hr>

As I was driving home today I caught a report on a local all-news radio station. The report said that a local Muslim imam showed up at the funeral and was smirking and smiling. The imam had to be escorted out by the police because the mourners were so outraged that the police feared that the Muslim cleric would be lynched.

Yeah, it's a 'religion of peace' alright (keep saying that or they'll kill you). /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif


<hr /></blockquote>

Just a word here Fats. What if the radio report wasn't true?

01-19-2005, 02:04 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Chopstick:</font><hr>

Just a word here Fats. What if the radio report wasn't true? <hr /></blockquote>

I spoke to a friend who is a cop in Jersey City and was at the scene. He told me that the report was inaccurate, a number of Muslims (including an Imam) did attend the funeral but they were there to pay their respects and at no time were they disrespectful. The trouble arose when local (non-Muslim) hotheads showed up and began threatening the Muslims in attendance.

He also told me that the detectives strongly believe that the family was targeted by local Muslim extremists.


01-21-2005, 11:19 AM
Jihad Watch received some inside information from a close friend of Hossam Armanious, the Coptic Christian brutally murdered in New Jersey along with his family:

Inside information on the New Jersey murders.

The Armanious family had inspired several Muslims to convert to Christianity — or thought they had. These converts were actually practicing taqiyya, or religious deception, pretending to be friends of these Christians in order to strengthen themselves against them, as in Qur’an 3:28: “Let believers not make friends with infidels in preference to the faithful — he that does this has nothing to hope for from Allah — except in self-defense.”

Of course, the family, not suspecting the deception, was happy to see the “converted” men and willingly let them in to their home. That’s why there was no sign of forced entry. Then the “converted” Muslims did their grisly work.

Many Copts are regarding the murders as a warning to the Coptic community as a whole, related to the increasing strife between Copts and Muslims in Egypt and the Copts’ energetic efforts in America to get the truth out about the differences between Middle Eastern Christians and Muslims — differences that the Islamic lobby, with its disingenuous talk of “Arab Americans,” routinely glosses over and hopes you don’t notice. The Copts, to their immense credit, have been particularly outspoken among Middle Eastern Christians about Muslim oppression. And yes, many are active on Pal Talk debating Muslims.

The nature of the warning? The murders send a signal from the Muslims to the Copts: we are going to behave here the same way we behaved in Egypt, and the First Amendment and American law enforcement will not protect you. Don’t expect America to keep you safe from us. The oppression and harassment you thought you had left behind in Egypt has now come to you.

If this is true, the killings in New Jersey are the American equivalent of the Theo Van Gogh murder in the Netherlands, a political killing motivated solely by the need to silence effective critics of radical Islam.


01-21-2005, 11:24 AM
Muslims condemn family's murder

Thursday, January 20, 2005


JERSEY CITY - A group of Muslim leaders on Wednesday condemned the murder of a Coptic Orthodox family and called for solidarity across religious lines in the wake of the grisly slayings.

Leaders of more than a half-dozen Islamic organizations asked the public and media to refrain from speculating about whether religion may have played a role in the murders of Hossam Armanious, 47, his wife, Amal Garas, 37, and their daughters, Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8 - who were found bound and stabbed to death in their city home last week.

"We condemn this horrible crime," said Ghazi Khankan, the executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations in New York. "While we understand the anger and frustration ... we ask that individuals of both the Muslim and Christian community to refrain from inflaming the situation."

Many in the Coptic community have contended that the Armanious family was slain by Islamic extremists. They point to a threat levied against Hossam Armanious after heated discussions in an Internet chat room focused on religion.

Authorities have not publicly committed to any single theory of what motivated the killings.

They have noted that Hossam Armanious' wallet was emptied, drawers in the apartment were rifled through, and no religious symbols - including tattoos on each victim's body - had been desecrated. At the same time, they noted that a substantial amount of jewelry was found in the home.

Representatives from the city's Coptic Orthodox community didn't attend what was billed as an "interfaith solidarity" news conference on Wednesday. Muslim leaders said it was because of a Coptic Orthodox holy day.

Leaders of the Coptic community in Jersey City could not be reached for comment . They were participating in Masses to commemorate the Holy Theophany Feast.

While cautioning against "jumping to conclusions," the St. Abraam's Coptic Orthodox Church in Woodbury, N.Y., issued a statement alleging that authorities deliberately aren't characterizing the slayings as hate crimes because of "political correctness."

Guy Gregory, first assistant Hudson County prosecutor, declined comment on the accusation.

Tensions between the two groups have been running high since the murders. Outside the funeral for the family on Monday, several people held anti-Muslim signs and scuffles broke out. A Muslim cleric who had traveled from New York to pay his respects was confronted by many in the crowd of more than 2,000 mourners.

During Wednesday's news conference, Muslim leaders pleaded with the media and the public at large not to rush to judgment. They asked that people not blame an entire religion for the acts of a few individuals if Muslims are indeed found to have committed the murders.

Adam Carroll of the Islamic Circle of North America said |that Muslims have been demonized since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"We want to be safe. We want the Coptic community to be safe," Carroll said. "We need to build more trust."

Imam Mohammad Qatanani, spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, emphasized that Islam forbids what was done to the family.

"As Muslims, we say Islam is the religion of love and peace," he said. "What happened is against the religion of Islam, the religion of Christianity, and the religion of Judaism."

In the teachings of Islam, "to kill one innocent is to kill the whole world," said Mohamed Younes, an elder in the Paterson Muslim community and president of the American Muslim Union.

Several group leaders compared the tensions between the two groups to that which existed between blacks and whites in America during the 1960s. One also warned against jumping to conclusions about the religion or race of the murderers, noting that the Oklahoma City bombing was carried out by a white man.

"The message of today's press conference is 'United we stand,'ź" said Magdy Mahmoud, the president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Suzanne Loutfy of Woodbridge, a leader of the Egyptian-American Group, said she invited Coptic Church officials to the event on short notice. At 1 a.m. Wednesday, she said, she asked Bishop David, who according to Coptic tradition uses only one name, to attend the news conference later in the day. Loutfy said she was told the religious holiday made that impossible.

Link (http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjczN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2MDYmZmdi ZWw3Zjd2cWVlRUV5eTY2NDIxMzQmeXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZU VFeXkz)

01-21-2005, 12:14 PM
Authorities reveal details in killing of Jersey City family

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Star-Ledger Staff

Authorities yesterday provided their most detailed description of what they found in the Jersey City home where an Egyptian immigrant family of four was murdered last week.

In response to widespread speculation that the crime stemmed from religious fanaticism, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office noted that the killers left behind no hate messages, nor did they desecrate Coptic Christian artifacts that belonged to the family.

In fact, authorities disclosed that the Coptic Cross tattoos which all four family members had on their inside right wrists "were not defaced."

Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio also said that the family's furniture drawers had been rifled through and there was no money left in the house. The killers did not take jewelry that may be worth thousands of dollars, but sometimes robbers leave jewelry behind because it is easy to trace and difficult to hock, the prosecutor said.

DeFazio said investigators were looking into the family's finances -- such as recent bank withdrawals -- to get a better idea of how much cash may have been taken.

"We know that money was taken, whether that was the primary motivation, we don't know," said DeFazio. "To think that someone would commit this type of crime for a small amount of money doesn't make sense. That being said, maybe there was a load of money in the house. A tremendous amount of money might explain this type of crime."

But in recent interviews, friends and relatives have said the family was not particularly wealthy. The father, Hossam Armanious, 47, had worked as a waiter, and the mother, Amal Garas, 37, had recently completed her 90-day probationary period on her postal clerk's job.

Armanious' body was found in a large bedroom in the family's Oakland Avenue home, while his wife's body was in the next room, according to the prosecutor's office.

The couple's older daughter, Sylvia, who would have turned 16 last Saturday, was found in the children's bedroom, while her 8-year-old sister's body was in the bathroom. Investigators have said that the killers broke through the door of the bathroom, where the younger child apparently had locked herself in.

Each victim had been bound and gagged and stabbed in the throat. They suffered other wounds, but none that would have killed them, according to the prosecutor's description.

As investigators searched for clues yesterday, leaders of Jersey City's Coptic community attempted to defuse tensions that sparked several scuffles at Monday's funeral services, when some mourners blamed the killings on Muslims.

"It's not doing anyone any good for us or the media to make these judgments without any evidence," said Emad Attaalla, a deacon at St. George and St. Shenouda Coptic Orthodox Church, where the family had been members.

"We need to let the police do their job and stop rushing to conclusions," added Attaalla, whose daughter was best friends with Sylvia Armanious.

"One day, they say this; one day, they say that," said the Rev. David Bebawy of St. George and St. Shenouda. "We are waiting. We don't know what's the reality."

Garas' brother-in-law, Emad Fahmy, said the family is still struggling with the tragedy. "It's going to take a while," he said.

In their search for leads, DeFazio said investigators would continue to interview Garas' family, who mostly live in New Jersey, and were asking federal authorities to reach out to Armanious' family in Egypt.

In Luxor, Egypt, relatives said they believed religion had nothing to do with the crime.

Milad Ibrahim, Armanious' cousin, blamed "the brutality of American society" and complained that the family's neighbors couldn't interfere to stop the crime.

Hosni Armanious, another close relative, said the killings would not have happened in Egypt, where neighbors are more involved in each other's lives.

"If a member of this family was attacked in Egypt, they would have screamed, yelled, and dozens of people would have interfered to protect them," he said.

In Egypt, Copts comprise about 10 percent of Egypt's population of 70 million. Copts and Muslims generally live in peace, though it is a sometimes uneasy relationship in which sectarian tensions can flare and become violent.

The Coptic Orthodox Church is one of the oldest communities in Christendom, believed to have been founded in the 1st century A.D. by the apostle Mark.

Link (http://www.nj.com/news/ledger/jersey/index.ssf?/base/news-8/1106117460288930.xml)