19 January 2005
EGYPTIAN CHRISTIAN FAMILY OF FOUR KILLED IN NEW JERSEY
An Egyptian Christian father, Hossam Armanious, his wife and two daughters were found knifed to death in their home on 14th January 2005. Police are investigating several theories, but religious tensions have been suggested as a potential motive. Armanious had been threatened during an internet chat-room session, following his critical comments on Islam.
Hossam Armanious (47), his wife Amal Garas (36), and their daughters Sylvia (15) and Monica (8) were found in their house in Jersey City, bound and gagged with their throats slit and knife wounds to their heads and bodies. While police are suggesting a robbery as the possible motive, the style of killing has made friends and relatives see a link with Islamic teaching on killing unbelievers.
Armanious and his family moved from Luxor, Upper Egypt to the USA in late 1990s to escape the growing anti-Christian violence in Upper Egypt. Such violence has seen many Christians killed and much Christian property destroyed in recent years.
After settling in New Jersey the family began making a new life for themselves. However, as a devout Christian, Armanious was outspoken about his faith, and continued to publicise the persecution of Christians in Egypt that had caused them to flee. He was known to have frequent vigorous debates on religion, including criticising Islam, in internet chat rooms. Two months ago he received the threat that if he didn