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Sunday, 26 October 2008

Uprising of extremist groups in Jerusalem

October 26, 2008

by Suzan Abrams

Mohamed Salmawy who is the very eloquent President of the Arab Writers' Union and Editor-in-Chief of the Al-Ahram Hebdo, has questioned with a laudable piqued air as to why the recent uprising of extremist groups in Jerusalem has received scant attention from the international press whereas every violent act by a Muslim is diligently recorded.

The writer coated wry humour with his witty article as he expanded on these thoughts a few days ago in Egypt's only independent English daily.

In his essay, Salmawy reminds Egyptian readers of extremist Jerusalem groups in the seventies who would splash sulphuric acid on the stunned faces of women who failed to cover their lips, noses, and cheeks. They afforded themselves authority to attack any woman who failed to abide by their fanatical teachings, he recalls.

Salmawy reports of a case filed in a Jerusalem court last September against two members of one of these fanatical groups, who allegedly broke into the apartment of a Jerusalem woman and beat her up for suspected associations with men.

The 31 year old woman on having secured a divorce, had left the ultra-Orthodox fold (cult). Her assailant then tried to get her to vacate her apartment in Jerusalem by gagging, beating and threatening to kill her after neighbours complained of her 'indecent' behaviour.

Another Jerusalem court would hear of a young zealot turned arsonist after setting fire to a clothes shop in a neighbourhood where many of those fanatics dwelled. According to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfield, their numbers have mushroomed significantly over the past 10 years and now constitute about 10% of the population.

These are said to be Israeli Jews belonging to the haredim group. Why ask Salmawy has the international press hardly given this dangerous story any serious attention?

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