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The Haredi community, called the “Jewish Taleban,” or the ultra-Orthodox, inside and outside Israel, is mysterious and secretive in its rituals and in the thought of its leaders and clergy.
The Lev Tahor sect, or the Pure Heart, is one of the most radical of these sects, and its leaders have previously been arrested, the last of which was in a Mexican town, on charges of committing gross sexual crimes, including Israelis from Canada and America, who are facing heavy prison sentences!
Lev Tahor is not the only sect, and its sexual crime is not the first in the strict sect society, in which women wear black cloaks (abayas) that cover their entire bodies, except for the face, and even young girls are forced to wear the hijab.
A few days ago, an Israeli court sentenced the leader of a sect that believes in polygamy to thirty years in prison, convicting him of sexual charges related to his wives and daughters, in addition to the charge of claiming divinity.
I have also heard and read, for half a century, about sexual crimes committed against children and minors in some Christian churches, mostly Catholic, and the majority of these crimes have been documented through lawsuits and criminal prosecutions in several European and American countries, north and south, and within the Monasticism system, and it was revealed after centuries of obscurity and silence, and the current Pope of the Vatican has great credit for lifting the cover of protection for such crimes. Various churches have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in financial compensation to the victims, after years of suffering for hundreds of thousands of them.
In Kuwait, the authorities recently charged an Arab teacher of Islamic Education with sexually assaulting some schoolboys and some of his violations were documented through surveillance cameras. This is not the first crime of its kind, many preceded it, and of course it will not be the last.
The extremism demanded by some cannot create a normal society in harmony with itself, and this does not mean that open societies are devoid of these crimes, but there is a possibility of detecting or talking about them in these societies and bringing their perpetrators to justice is relatively easier than others because of the clergymen have no sanctity, or high status, not even a social cover.
In hard-liner societies, sexual assaults or financial crimes, one of which is an institution or a cleric are often covered up in order to ward off scandal, and for fear of the aura that some give to religious institutions and their workers, as if they were angels and not human beings like us.
A good example of this is the reports of the Audit Bureau, which are overflowing with violations of religious bodies and ministries, and no one wants to research them. The same parties are also required to monitor an international charity, and you can imagine the situation on both sides.
By Ahmad alsarraf