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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

Ryerson U. Student Union Passes Symbolic Vote to Join BDS

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The student union of Ryerson University in Toronto voted to join the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement aimed at Israel, but the university said it will ignore the non-binding decision.

“The student union is a corporation independent of the university, we have to be clear there,” said Michael Forbes, a spokesperson for Ryerson and quoted by the Canadian National Post. “The university does not support a boycott. We don’t support divestment, nor do we support sanctions against Israel. We’ve been consistent on this point.”

Students at the University of Windsor and York University also have voted to join BDS.

The vote at Ryerson was passed amid jeers and boos at Jewish students who walked out in protest, holding as sign stating, “Hate off Campus.”

Canada Arrests Seven Lev Tahor Sect Members Arrested In Raid

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

A dozen Canadian border security officials raided the compound of the fringe Haredi Orthodox sect Lev Tahor Wednesday and arrested seven members believed to be in violation of immigration laws.

Two families in the Lev Tahor community are at the center of an ongoing child custody case, including one family who fled to Guatemala, the Canadian Press reported.

One Lev Tahor man was seen being driven away in handcuffs. One witness said she saw immigration officials trying to enter a building where Lev Tahor children are believed to be housed. “I can hear the children crying and praying,” the source said.

Last month, 14 children and several Lev Tahor adults fled Canada ahead of an appeal of an Ontario court order mandating that the children be placed in the care of children’s aid in Quebec. Eight of the children made it to Trinidad and Tobago, where they were taken into custody and returned to Canada. Two more children taken into custody in Calgary also were removed from the sect.

The rest are in limbo in Guatemala, their original destination.

This week, a lawyer for one Lev Tahor family removed himself from the case.

About 250 members of the community fled Quebec last fall just before officials could seize some of the children. Child welfare officials said they had evidence of abuse, squalid living conditions, underage marriages and substandard education.

Lev Tahor members maintain they are being persecuted for their strict religious beliefs.

Canadian Judge Orders Law Enforcement to Apprehend Lev Tahor Children

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

A Canadian judge has ordered child protection officials to use law enforcement agencies to apprehend 14 children in the haredi Orthodox sect Lev Tahor after most of them fled the country.

On Wednesday, the judge was supposed to hear an appeal of an earlier ruling to seize the children and return them to Quebec to be placed in foster care. No members of Lev Tahor showed up, and reports surfaced that several sect members had fled to Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago.

The judge ordered child protection officials in Chatham-Kent, Ontario to use the resources of local, provincial and federal police, and the Canada Border Services Agency, to locate the children and return them to Canada to be placed in the temporary care of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services. The order applies to three families.

Police said that 12 of the children under the order have left the country. The location of the other two remains unknown.

Earlier this week, authorities in Trinidad and Tobago stopped nine sect members of the sect — three adults and six children — at the airport as they were en route to Guatemala. They were offered a flight back to Toronto but refused, insisting they go to Guatemala.

According to a report in Trinidad media, the nine are “not detained” and neither are they deemed “fugitives.” They were stopped because of “inconsistencies” in their answers to questions and have hired a local lawyer, the report said. They remain at the airport, having spurned offers of a hotel.

Canadian embassy officials met Thursday with authorities from Trinidad’s security ministry, which handles immigration.

Another six children are already in Guatemala, reported the Montreal Gazette.

In an interview Thursday with the Gazette, Canadian youth protection official Denis Baraby said he’s concerned the remaining members of Lev Tahor are planning another exodus and that the rest of the children have to be seized soon.

“I think the community is preparing a mass move,” Baraby said. “If we want to protect the children that are in the community, we need to start working on the exit of the 114 other children.”

Some 250 members of Lev Tahor fled Quebec in November just ahead of a court order to seize 14 children and place them in foster care. Authorities said they had evidence of physical abuse, neglect, underage marriage and the forced ingestion of drugs.

The Lev Tahor settled in southwest Ontario, where the Quebec order was upheld last month. The affected families were told not to leave Canada pending the appeal. Baraby said the adults who took the children out of the country could be charged with kidnapping.

Haredi Sect Blames Zionists, Persecution, for Seized Children

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Ontario child welfare authorities have taken two children into protective custody from the Haredi group Lev Tahor, the Toronto Star reported.

The group’s attorney, Chris Knowles, told the Star that the case will be heard by a judge on Tuesday morning. Knowles plans to ask for dismissal of the case, and for the return of the children.

“We obviously feel that the whole thing to begin with is ridiculous. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place,” Knowles said.

The Star quoted a source saying these two children are not connected to a Quebec court ruling last month that 14 children be taken from their parents and placed in foster care.

Chatham-Kent Children’s Services refused to comment.

The Canadian Lev Tahor cult of about 200, 130 of whom are children, is headed by Shlomo Helbrans, an Israeli returnee (his secular name was Erez) who left Israel with his followers in 1990. They settled first in Brooklyn, where complaints about their anti-social behavior mounted in the Borough Park community.

The cult has followers in the U.S., and in Israel (mostly Beit Shemesh), where it is known by the nickname “Jewish Taliban.”

Throughout the years, there have also been complaints against Helbrans of child abuse, the kidnapping of children from their families in Israel, forced marriages of under age girls with adult men, and the use of psychiatric drugs to quell resistance among group members.

Helbrans claimed that he was part of the Satmar chassidic movement, but the movement was ambiguous about whether or not it approved his style or his Jewish path.

Shlomo Helbrans. Photo credit: vosizneias.com

Shlomo Helbrans. Photo credit: vosizneias.com

Helbrans was convicted of kidnapping in 1994 and served a two-year prison term (the original sentence was for 12 years). He was deported to Israel in 2000. He then settled in Canada, where he was the leader of the Lev Tahor settlement of some 45 Jewish families in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec.

CBC News reported last November that authorities in Quebec had alleged that the 14 children from two families affiliated with Lev Tahor were living in dirty houses that were full of garbage, and that the children, who were home-schooled, could not do basic math nor speak French or English. They produced documented evidence of neglect, psychological abuse and poor dental and physical health.

On November 27, a judge in Quebec ordered that 14 children belonging to the sect be placed temporarily in foster care, undergo medical exams and receive psychological support. The order also compelled the children’s parents to turn over their passports.

The group, complaining of religious persecution by the authorities, left Quebec for Ontario.

The Chatham-Kent, Ontario child welfare authorities sought a warrant on Dec. 4 to seize all the Lev tahor children. An Ontario Justice of the Peace denied the request, and an appeal of that decision will be heard on Dec. 23.

According to Nachman Helbrans, Shlomo’s son, the whole thing has been a smear campaign by Israeli Zionists, because of the group’s anti-Zionist position.

“We are afraid but there is no way to fight with action resulting from libels and unfair justice by running away. The same people that want to destruct you will do the same libels,” he told the Star. “Now is the time to fight it with all legal venues, to cry out for a fair trial and fair justice that we can have the opportunity to answer.”

His English appeared just fine…

Yes, Virginia, There are Good Muslims

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

The Muslim-Jewish Dialogue (MJD) has organized a reception for non-Arab Ajmi Muslims at Baycrest, the Jewish community’s leading edge gerontology and geriatric facility in Toronto, in recognition of May’s Jewish History Month in Ontario.

Tariq Khan, on behalf of Muslim guests, said, “Muslims and Jews are cousins. and I am very glad today we are jointly marking the Jewish Heritage Month. Islam and Judaism share a common origin through Prophet Abraham and thus, both are considered Abrahamic religions. One of the common teachings in both religions is to serve humanity selflessly.”

He maintained that throughout Muslim history, “whether in Khilafat-e-Rashida (The Pious Caliphate), Umayyad Dynasty, Abbasid Empire, Muslim Spain or Ottoman Era, there is no record of any religion based armed conflict found between the two. Muslims and Jews lived in relative peace with one another all over the world, and Muslim Spain is still considered as the Golden Era for Jews.”

“The Palestinian conflict has nothing to do with religion, and it was initiated by communist Arab rulers,” according to Khan. “Instead of welcoming the Jewish people who came back to their holy land which was lost 2,000 years ago and joining hands with them to serve humanity together, so-called Arab nationalist rulers invaded the modern state of Israel.

“To get sympathies and support of Muslims living all over the world, the communist rulers of the Arab world, shamelessly converted their adventurism into a religious battle between the two faith communities. No doubt, God is kind and never supports unjust; they were defeated. Now, it is time for Muslims to understand the facts, recognize the reality and work together with their Jewish cousins to make this planet hate-free and a wonderful place for everyone,” concluded Khan, who is editor of Weekly Press Pakistan.

Mark Adler, local member of Parliament for the Government of Canada and who is involved in the Jewish community, offered full assistance to the group to expand good relations between the two religious communities.

The Muslim and Jewish guests toured the current display in a museum on the main floor of the Baycrest. The exhibition features sacred and secular head gear from all over the world, worn by Jews and non-Jews.

This article was written by Andrea Spindel for the Tazpit News Agency.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/yes-virginia-there-are-good-muslims/2013/06/19/

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