Tensions Flare Between Muslims and Copts at Funeral of NJ Coptic Family

January 18, 2005

Source: The New York Times


On January 18, 2005 The New York Times reported, "The funeral for an Egyptian immigrant family found slain in their home [in Jersey City, NJ] erupted into a scene of chaos and roiling emotion on Monday, with some mourners jumping on top of cars, shoving each other and threatening to beat a Muslim cleric who was escorted to safety by the police. The source of the disruption at the Coptic Christian service appeared to be the presence of Muslims, who said they had come to pay their respects. In the days since the victims...were found stabbed to death in their home early on Friday, speculation that the slayings were a hate crime has led to loud recriminations by Christian Egyptians, expressed in news interviews and at a demonstration here on Sunday...Although the case brought new tension to the Egyptian community, the Jersey City police have refused to say whether they believe the slayings were the result of religious hatred."