Was the Coptic
family’s blood licit to shed?
Suspicions abound among Coptic Christians that the
murderers of a Coptic family in
last week were religious Muslims. But when they have voiced these
suspicions, they have been denounced as “Islamophobes” – an
all-purpose term used to silence criticism of Islam and of Muslims. And
Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio dismisses 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
Yet law 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. He
has said that an imam in
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.
Perhaps 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
. 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
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, and 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.
Still, a 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?
The mainstream media has done a poor job of covering
this case. It has not bothered to explain that the difficulties Copts
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
Nothing 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
, as if that will 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
— 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 that.