Monday, March 10, 2008

Even More Fundie Isl....Jewish Insanity...?

I guess there's fundies and weirdos among every religion, but I'd never really heard of fundie Jewish folks before an NPR report this morning. Apparently there's an "ultra-orthodox" (read: fundie) Jewish sect called the Harediim which normally cloisters itself in one neighborhood of Jerusalem. All is well and good when they're left to their own devices, but rising housing prices have forced some of them to move out into the suburbs where they have to live with other people. Naturally they're tailoring their way of life to help them merge seamlessly with their new neighbors.

No, wait, that's what rational people would do. Turns out they're posting angry signs everywhere and beating up people that don't comply with their pre-medieval standards of "modesty".

Most of this immodesty comes, of course, from women who no longer feel the need to live under the sway of gender roles from the time of Moses. Ladies wearing jeans, or with their hair exposed, are being immodest according to at least one of these whackjobs:

"When dealing with this issue of Torah, your mind has to be much more settled and can't be jumping around to all sorts of different planets and all sorts of different fantasies and thoughts that might come up on a teenager's head..."

This whackjob, you see, is an 18 year-old Harediim kid who can't come to grips with the fact that he might accidentally have an impure thought while he's studying his torah. Adds this particular simp: "We're not trying to change people, but they must respect our way of life."

Actually chief, you're wrong. The rest of us don't have any obligation to "respect your way of life" by changing how we go about our own. No one's going to leap on you and jam an iPod in your ears while forcing you to look at red-hot porno, but you don't have any right to, say, beat up an man and a woman for sitting together on a bus, or send threatening letters to a guy because you can see his TV through his window.

The entire blood-boiling article is on NPR's site here. The article also details steps that the police have taken to stand up for the rights of the other citizens in the community. It's good to see that authority figures in the community are standing up to these weirdos, but it's also a worrisome thing to see, in a land already torn by religious strife, a bunch of freakshows inflicting violence on their co-religionists for not being fundie enough.

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