Press Releases

CAIR-NJ: Muslims Applaud Arrests in Slaying of NJ Family

(TOTOWA, NJ, 3/4/05) – The New Jersey office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today applauded the arrest of two
suspects in the case of an Arab-American Christian family murdered earlier
this year in Jersey City.

The bodies of Hossam Armanious, 47, his wife, Amal Garas, 37, and their two
children, Monica, 8, and Sylvia, 15, were found in their home in January.
The victims, Coptic Christians from Egypt, died of multiple stab wounds.

The upstairs neighbor of the family and another man were charged today.
Edward McDonald, 25, pleaded not guilty to four counts of felony murder.
Hamilton Sanchez, 30, faces similar charges and also pleaded not guilty.


The case caused religious tension resulting from unsubstantiated claims
that the murders were perpetrated by Muslims motivated by anti-Christian
bias. Investigators now tell CAIR-NJ that the alleged motive was robbery,
not religious hatred.

“All those involved in the investigation of this brutal crime deserve
praise for their diligence and for resisting efforts by hate-mongers from
outside our state to use the tragedy as a way to damage interfaith
relations,” said CAIR-NJ President Magdy Mahmoud. Mahmoud said he hopes the
arrests will bring closure to this disturbing case.

At the time of the murders, CAIR-NJ offered condolences to the loved ones
of the family and to the local Egyptian Coptic community. The Muslim civil
rights and advocacy group also asked that the possible bias motive be
thoroughly investigated and held a news conference to call for interfaith

CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 31 offices and
chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the
understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties,
empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and
mutual understanding.

To read CAIR’s Mission, Vision Statement and Core Principles, go to:

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CONTACT: CAIR-NJ, 908-209-7440, 908-938-5990, E-Mail:,;
Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail:


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