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February 16, 2005

When is a hate crime not a hate crime?

From WorldNetDaily:

Relatives of a brutally slain New Jersey Christian family spoke out yesterday for the first time, saying the killings were consistent with Quranic methods of slaying infidels.

The bodies of the Coptic-American family, including father Hossam Armanious, 47, his wife Amal Garas, 37, and daughters Sylvia, 15, and Monica, 8, were found bound and gagged with their throats slashed in their New Jersey home on Jan. 14. Hudson County prosecutors are said to be exploring several possible motives for the slayings, including retaliation by terrorists against Hossam Armanious, described as an outspoken advocate for Coptic Christian religious freedom in Egypt and a well-known leader of an online ministry to the Muslim-American community.

The article goes on to say:

The Rev. Dr. Keith Roderick, Washington representative of Christian Solidarity International and secretary general of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights, offered a statement relating to concerns over the manner in which the crime is being investigated.

"The investigation is not complete; no suspects have been identified," said Roderick, "and the district attorney's office of Hudson County is pursuing a number of theories related to the motive and nature of the crime. Public statements by that office indicate that theories related to robbery have been given precedence over a possible hate crime as a motive. By stressing that there are no facts substantiating a religious motivation to this crime, the confidence of the family has been eroded that the local investigation will lead to a resolution."

It's outrageous that an obvious hate crime is treated as a robbery, simply because the victims were Christians. What good is any sort of hate crime legislation if it applies to only certain groups? Would that application, itself, be a form of hate crime?

Posted by Jack Lewis at February 16, 2005 10:17 AM

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