(TOTOWA, NJ, 1/17/05) – The New Jersey office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ) today called on law enforcement
authorities to do everything in their power to apprehend those responsible
for the brutal murders of four members of an Arab-American family in Jersey
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 on Friday.
The victims, Coptic Christians from Egypt, died of multiple stab wounds. No
suspect has been identified.
Investigators are focusing robbery as a possible motive because no money or
jewels were found in the home. Relatives say they suspect a religious
argument on the Internet may have prompted the killings.
SEE: POLICE KEY ON ROBBERY AS MOTIVE IN SLAYINGS
CAIR-NJ also offered condolences to the loved ones of the family and to the
local Egyptian Coptic community.
“May God give comfort to the family and friends of the victims,” CAIR-NJ
President Magdy Mahmoud. He added that the possible bias motive should be
Mahmoud said CAIR-NJ has been working to build better relations between the
Muslim and Coptic communities in that state.
CAIR’s national office also called for a stepped-up probe into the
similarly-brutal murder of a pregnant Muslim teacher, Iman Muhanna
Mohammed, who was stabbed to death in her Louisiana home last December.
There was no sign of forced entry and no evidence of a robbery. The FBI
investigated that murder as a possible hate crime, but no motive has been
established. The Washington-based group has been in touch with
investigators about that case.
CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 30 offices and
chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance understanding
of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American
Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
CONTACT: CAIR-NJ, 973-785-3050 or 908-209-7440