Monday, January 17, 2005

To Enrage and To Weep

On the drive back from Tahoe tonight, this, rightfully, was on the hourly national radio news (at least ABC Radio -- curiously, however, a search on their website now does not find this story -- even though Derb and Dan found it).

January 16, 2005 — The father of a murdered New Jersey family was threatened for making anti-Muslim remarks online — and the gruesome quadruple slaying may have been the hateful retaliation, sources told The Post yesterday. . . .

He “had the reputation for being one of the most outspoken Egyptian Christians,” said the source, who had close ties to the family. . . .

Armanious’ fervor apparently rubbed off on his daughter, Sylvia — who would have turned 16 yesterday. “She was very religious and very opinionated,” said Jessica Cimino, 15, a fellow sophomore at Dickenson HS.

A family member who viewed photos of the bloodbath said Sylvia seemed to have taken the most savage punishment. “When we saw the pictures, you could tell that they were hurt really, really bad in the face; especially Sylvia,” said Milad Garas, the high-school sophomore’s great-uncle.

The heartless killer not only slit Sylvia’s throat, but also sliced a huge gash in her chest and stabbed her in the wrist, where she had a tattoo of a Coptic cross.

This dissembling doesn't cut it.

“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.”

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.”

When put in the context of what is happening to Christian Copts in Eqypt today, the above is clearly playing on the ignorance of Americans who do not know of such unpleasantries:

Copts want an end to forced conversion of Christian girls, who are kidnapped and raped by Muslim extremists. There are reports of police protection given to the abductors. 

More on forced conversions here (and they aren't permitted to build a church either).

Could this act be a manifestation of Al-Qaeda recruiting? Perhaps, and especially if Al-Qaeda is as damaged as we hope by our efforts in the Global War On Terror, i.e. if they no longer have reliable contacts with those giving orders, why not go out and take care of some infidels? Pure speculation? Sure, but just what will these cells do without orders? Just go away? I don't have that optimism.

More recent update from The New York Times:

Mr. Armanious . . . had been threatened with murder by someone in an Internet chat room during an argument about Christianity and Islam, according to members of his church and other acquaintances. The authorities would not confirm or deny this, but they dismissed newspaper accounts that a tattoo of a cross on Sylvia's wrist had been slashed in the killing.

It will be interesting to see what more we learn in the days ahead.

It will be most interesting to see how long it takes before news reports start to suggest that the man was stupid for supporting his faith (if that was all he was, in fact, doing), and should have just kept his Coptic mouth shut, i.e. didn't he, in a sense, deserve it? Do I exagerate? I hope so, but my distrust of the media and their romance with relativism make me wary of what will be written on this tragic story -- after all, four were slaughtered, not just one.

Stay tuned. . . .


Interesting update suggesting a possible link between the murdered family and a radical lawyer accused of helping an imprisoned terrorist:

ABC News has learned that the slain family's cousin has been a translator working for the prosecution in the trial of Lynne Stewart. She is the radical lawyer accused of smuggling messages from imprisoned Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, to terrorist cell members and associates.


Michelle Malkin has an update summary.