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Apr 25 2012

Special treatment for religion

Jonathan Turley describes the case of the Brooklyn District Attorney who has made a special exemption for Orthodox Jews by not releasing the names of those members of their communities who have been accused of being sex offenders.

The DA’s office says that this is because of the “tight-knit and insular” nature of those communities. As Turley says, “It appears that a defendant need only be a member of the Orthodox Jewish community to be able to claim an exemption from public identification. If you are a member of another religion or an atheist, you are out of luck because you are not “unique.”"

Turley says that this is disturbing for many reasons but is part of a pattern of allowing special privileges for the Hasidic community, such as erasing bike lanes in the neighborhoods in which they live so that the men would not have to experience the temptation of seeing women in shorts.

It is crazy that we have to accommodate the bizarre misogynistic preferences of a religious sect who choose to live in a modern city and yet expect everyone else to conform to their desire to live by the rules of a book written by unknown authors over two millennia ago.

7 comments

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  1. 1
    James Sweet

    I have trouble working up too much outrage about the sex offender thing, because I’m already not really in favor of sex offender registries, for reasons that are very similar to the complaints of the Hasids. It’s wrong that an exception is being made for a religious community, but on the other hand I can’t really bring myself to be like, “They should have to participate in this destructive and unfair system, too!” heh…

    The bike lane thing freaking infuriates me though. I’m just going to pretend I didn’t read that, because it will be better for my blood pressure if I hadn’t.

  2. 2
    No Light

    The registry is a side issue. The main problems are offenders receiving no punishment, then returning to the same community (or same home )as their victims.

    This removes any incentive. for victims to report their abusers, in a culture where abuse is rampant due to a number of circumstances.

  3. 3
    No Light

    Has my initial. comment disappeared into the ether? I hope not, someone needs to expose the horrible goings on in my former community.They don’t want to stop. it, and the authorities are too scared. of backlash to even try.

  4. 4
    left0ver1under

    A few years ago, catholics laughably tried to claim the reporting of pedo-priests was “anti-catholic!”

    Don’t be surprised that reporting those pedophiles is labelled “anti-semitism”.

  5. 5
    smrnda

    I’m for sex offender registries since if I was a mom with kids, I’d like to know if the guy who moved in next door to me was a sex offender. Perhaps I’m used to living in rather anonymous communities with transient populations so the idea that somehow identifying sex offenders somehow also identifies their victims publicly doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.

    I am against lumping all sex offenses together though. Registries should identify people who are likely to be a danger to others.

    The bike lane deal is ridiculous though. If you can’t stand seeing women in shorts, don’t look, and if you can’t do that, maybe you should ask yourself why you think it’s such a big deal to begin with. There’s been a lot of problem with Hasidem in Israel being quite nasty to women in public spaces – spitting on them and yelling at them, including young girls – all for offending their sensibilities by daring to be out in public.

  6. 6
    James Sweet

    I am a dad with kids, and my question is, why only sex offenders? Wouldn’t you want to know if a convicted murderer moved in next door too? Or a former burglar? Why not put all felons on a registry?

    I could see a case being made for notifying neighbors in the case of someone who had been diagnosed with an incurable impulse towards a particular type of criminal behavior. This might include pedophiles, but also kleptomaniacs — why not? My wife and I are fairly casual about making sure every single door of our house is locked because a) there are a lot of doors, and b) we have two big dogs… but if I knew the new neighbor was a former kleptomaniac, I might change my policy in that regards.

  7. 7
    smrnda

    I’ll admit that I’m being a bit subjective here, but I’m mostly going by what are the chances that the person will repeat the crime and the evidence (at least what I’ve seen so far) seems to suggest that sex offenders are more likely to be repeat offenders, and that the number of victims that get identified are usually only a small sample of their actual total. From what I’ve learned, it seems that sex offenders do have an incurable impulse towards a certain type of crime.

    As for kleptomaniacs, stealing doesn’t strike me as something as potentially dangerous or harmful. It’s not nice, but on a scale of one to ten, I’d put sexual abuse or assault towards the 8 or 9 (I’m reserving 10 for killing someone) and I’d put stealing about about a 2.

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