January 16, 2005

Murder of Copts an Ominous Harbinger?

My former law firm represented a Coptic Orthodox Church on a construction defect claim. The Egyptian-born Copts were wonderful, educated people. Copts, who trace their religious lineage back to very early Christianity, make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population, and as a group and as a faith are frequently repressed or attacked in the name of Islam.

My father grew up in and around Jersey City, NJ, where he graduated from Dickinson High School lo these many years ago.

So I feel a personal connection to this story: a family of four Coptic Christians were brutally murdered in Jersey City, which has become a point of concentration for Arab and Muslim immigrants. There's a suspicion that the motive was the father's outspoken defense of his religious beliefs in online discussions.

If so, the event represents the intrusion of foreign ethnic and religious conflicts into our country, and may be a warning sign of potential radical Islamic violence in this country.

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