ARAB-AMERICAN MURDERS AND DISMEMBERS TWO EGYPTIANS IN NEW JERSEY

Public speculates possible Muslim on Christian hate crime, while most of the media avoids the story

It appears the Arab custom of beheading enemies has been imported to the United States.

In Jersey City, less than an hour from Rockland County, 28-year-old Yusuf Ibrahim is accused of shooting and killing two men he knew, and then beheading and cutting off their hands before burying them in south Jersey.

The two men were Egyptian Coptic Christians in their 20s, Hany F. Tawadros and Amgad A. Konds. Since Coptics are often subject to such abuse in their native land of Egypt, it has been speculated that the crime might be a Muslim on Christian hate crime.

It has not yet been established that Ibrahim is indeed Muslim and if he is, if that is what motivated the attacks. He was born in Indiana, reports say. Ibrahim is facing two counts each of murder and desecration of human remains. His bail was set at more than $3 million cash.

The gruesome story is the sort that would normally earn bold headlines in regional and national media, but most outlets have avoided the story. WABC-7 did dedicate a segment on the crime, however. The Coptic Christian community in Jersey City reacted with dismay to the events.

Although beheading ceased to be a common practice in most of Europe centuries ago, France continued to use the guillotine for capital punishment until it was finally outlawed in the early 1980s. Convicted murderer Hamida Djandoubi was the last man to be guillotined in 1977 and the practice was officially abolished in France by 1981.