Armanious family murders
February 2, 2005 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Coptic Christans comprise 15-18% of Egypt's population, and are the MidEast's largest Christian minority. Violence between Muslims and Coptics in Egypt has flared up before, but relations inside American borders have been civil, most say. This month, an emigrated Coptic family of four were murdered in New Jersey just months after the father received death threats for his remarks about Islam in a chatroom on which Christians are allegedly "monitored". Did Armanious Hossan's comments about Islam put his life in jeopardy, ala Salman Rushdie, or Theo Van Gogh, or Geert Wilders (login req), or Rachid Ben Ali?
posted by jenleigh (10 comments total)
Yesterday, reported that—the website allegedly monitoring Christians participating in the PalTalk chatrooms—was being investigated.
posted by jenleigh at 9:25 AM on February 2, 2005

I wonder how they obtained the information in the first place, unless he, as PalTalk's "I Love Jesus," was providing it to them, or at least leads to it (i.e. more personal info.) Does it not seem hypocritical to have an Islamic website posting pictures and info of people "critical of Islam?" I cannot see any noble intent of such a website. All in all, curse religious conflict.
posted by adzm at 9:50 AM on February 2, 2005

but but but... The Crusades!
posted by TetrisKid at 10:37 AM on February 2, 2005

Did Armanious Hossan's comments about Islam put his life in jeopardy

Looks like the answer is yes.

All fundies are doomed to hell! :-)

What faith truly advocates violence? Seems they all can be twisted to justify violence and oppression.
posted by nofundy at 11:16 AM on February 2, 2005

Not to be pedantic, but what the heck: the noun is Copts, not Coptics.
posted by caveday at 11:51 AM on February 2, 2005

Mea culpa ;)
posted by jenleigh at 12:06 PM on February 2, 2005

From the "received death threats" link:

Subscribers also post explicit warnings to Joseph. One comment states, "Know, oh Christian, that you are not far from us and you are under our watchful eyes!" Another user remarks, "Laugh, oh Christian, and soon you will see a big hit."

This is surreal; they come off like some hack screenwriter's version of an evil Arab.

This link also seemed to suggest that the members of the anti-Christian message board were particularly interested in Christians with majority-Muslim ethnicities (i.e. Syrian, Lebanese, Ethiopian, etc.) Is there something deeper going on here than simple religious tension? It seems like the Muslims making these threats and intolerant comments are discomforted by the change in status that Middle Eastern Christians experience on moving to the West. The go from being a member of a (traditionally oppressed?) minority to being a citizen with equal rights. This kind of reaction to the liberation of an oppressed people on the part of a traditional oppressor is typical, it seems. Maybe I'm reading too much into this brief article....
posted by mr_roboto at 12:51 PM on February 2, 2005

The "Oh, Christian" seems to imply that whoever is quoting the Koran is quoting an english translation/interpretation of it - the "oh" often appears in the English versions as well as the common "Oh, believers"etc. Which is to imply that whoever writes the threats is probably not a native first language speaker of Arabic, but somebody whose knowledge of the Koran comes via an English "translation."

And if we are talking about New Jersey Egyptians, well, most of them are native speakers of Arabic. They wouldn't depend on an English translation of the Arabic if they were pissed off, but rather drop into natural, fluent New Jersey English obscenity, as many NJ Arabs I have known are wont to do.
posted by zaelic at 5:46 PM on February 2, 2005

Pretty much off topic:

The first time I saw a picture of the Coptic pope, I thought it was that Saddam picture (where he's got a beard and has just been found in a hole) photoshopped into some sort of union with the Catholic pope.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 8:05 AM on February 3, 2005

This is somewhat off-topic, but the 'murdered' link contains a depressingly large number of grammatical and punctuation errors. Also:

The tears were flowing all morning long, as questions continue to be raised about why a religious family would be savagely attacked, and murdered.

Why is it any more surprising for a religious family to be savagely attacked and murdered than an areligious family? I sure hope someone would have a few questions if my family and I were murdered in our home.
posted by alsorises at 12:52 PM on February 3, 2005

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