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British government will look to crack down on religious freedom in the UK

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British Jews Fear State Crackdown On Circumcision, Kosher Meat And Religious Schools

"The purpose of the state in my view is not to impose cultural values on a minority which has its own cultural values and which does not clash, fight or inflict violence on anybody else", says David Frei

Illustration- Haredi Orthodox-jews- jewish A group of Orthodox Jews. Photo Wiki Commons.

 

British Jews may be forced to rethink their future in the UK in the face of increasing criticism of religious practices including circumcision, religious schools and ritual slaughter, according to a prominent figure at the London-based Beth Din religious court.

David Frei, a British-born barrister and registrar at the Beth Din since 1999, has warned of a growing trend of anti-religious sentiment in Britain that has followed record levels of atheism and Islamist terrorist atrocities in Europe that have turned people against faith – be it Judaism, Islam or Christianity – as a whole.

He fears the British government will look to crack down on religious freedom in the UK in response to public opinion. He also believes the Jewish Orthodox community will resist any attempt to legislate against customs such as kosher meat, Jewish yeshivas or the practise of circumcision, which is mandated in the Torah.

“I think there are genuine fears at the moment in any number of areas – including circumcision and ritual slaughter – that the state may one day take a more interventionist role and it is very disturbing. At one point or another Jews will have to evaluate their future in the country if this was to happen,” Frei told IBTimesUK in a wide-ranging interview published on 28 January.

“There is a very secular wave that is washing over this country at the moment. There is no question that fewer people than ever before believe in God. The opinion polls will show you that 30 or 40 years ago, the vast majority of people believed in God and now the vast majority don’t.”

Frei spoke as part of an IBTimesUK investigation into the role of Sharia courts in Britain in the face of criticism by both the government and independent politicians such as Baroness Cox. Beth Din has operated in the UK in one form or another for some four centuries and today still officiates in cases of Jewish divorce, which has a starkly different form to divorce under British civil law.

Beth Din has so far escaped the scrutiny that Sharia has fallen under in recent years, with critics arguing Islamic divorces discriminate against women – who, unlike men, have to go through the Sharia divorce court process and get permission from male relatives. Men are permitted to divorce their wives verbally.

 

David Frei British Jewish has been registrar at Beth Din in West Finchley since 1999 david-frei

 

It is argued that Jewish divorce law is similarly discriminatory in that it requires the husband to give his consent to a divorce, which cannot go ahead if he refuses. This has led to the phenomenon of so-called “chained women” in Britain, unable to remarry as their estranged partners refuse to agree to the divorce. But speaking this week, Frei said Jews knew what they were getting into when they had an Orthodox marriage.

He said: “People are voluntarily taking upon themselves additional restrictions because they believe in it. The reality is that if you are a religious Jew, the way that you think marriage is performed is platform X and divorce platform Y. And what is wrong with that?

“That is a restriction that [they have] taken upon [themselves]. That is what you believe in, your value system. That is not a threat to any society.”

In this, and in practices such as circumcision, religious schools and kosher meat, Frei said it was not the role of the government to impose on the personal religious beliefs of its citizens.

He said: “The purpose of the state in my view [is] not to impose cultural values on a minority which has its own cultural values and which does not clash, fight or inflict violence on anybody else. We are a law-abiding community. We are people who have given a full and valued contribution to British society, so why should the state come barging in and tell us what we can and can’t do in terms of matters of personal religious belief.”

On religious schools, Frei said hostility appeared to have come from the rise in extremist Islam and attacks in Europe and further afield, a link that he felt was unfair.

He said: “Very shortly after the most recent attacks in Paris, the first letter I read was about chucking out religious schools and I thought is there any evidence that any of these terrorists had ever actually attended a religious school? I don’t think so. They are better off asking to shut down the internet, because that is causing it rather than religious schools.”

This article was first published at IBTimes, by Orlando Crowcroft

 

 

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A knotty problem is whether religious belief should infringe on the freedoms of others, e.g. when men enjoy certain freedoms denied to women, as outlined in the article. 

Another problem is how animals are slaughtered and how to make this the most humane. It is alleged that Kosher and Halal methods fall short of the standards put forward by animal welfare advisory bodies.

Is there any sound religious basis to insist on certain practices? Or are those practices just traditions that could be changed without compromising foundational beliefs?

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      Russell & Co came out of former religions. I presume they must have carried over some good points from those former religions, then made adjustments or changed doctrines.
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    • Of course he mentioned how the 144,000 are part of the kings and priests going to heaven. And of course he knew of the possibility that he might personally not be "guaranteed" to be remain among that number. But he never said anything about NOT being a part of that number while he was writing articles, sermons, books, etc. In fact, the Watchtower's own BIOGRAPHY of Russell said that he privately admitted to being the "faithful and wise servant."  Even more, Russell said: but since the servant mentioned is to dispense food to the other members of the body, his fellow-servants, the term seems to be limited to some particular individual (R3355) Who do you think this particular individual was supposed to be referring to? This servant, if found faithful, would be intrusted more and more with the distribution of every feature of Present Truth as represented in the parable, by his being given the dispensing of the food in due season to the household. (R3356) Can you think what person for as long he was being found faithful, considered himself to be dispensing every feature of Present Truth to the household of faith? . . . the Lord at the time indicated would specially use one member of his Church as the channel or instrument through which he would send the appropriate messages, spiritual nourishment appropriate at that time; because at various times in the past the Lord has used individuals in such a manner. For instance, Peter used the "keys" of the Kingdom of heaven at Pentecost . . . . (R3356) Who might Russell think it is? Hmmm. We don't have to worry about it, he tells us directly: No, the truths I present, as God's mouthpiece, were not revealed in visions or dreams, nor by God's audible voice, nor all at once, but gradually, especially since 1870, and particularly since 1880. Neither is this clear unfolding of truth due to any human ingenuity or acuteness of perception, but to the simple fact that God's due time has come; and if I did not speak, and no other agent could be found, the very stones would cry out. (R3821) Of course, I think you knew this already.
    • Yes, some people are naturally good and kind and there is no need to look down on them.  Satan had the opposite type of personality....... which type of arrogance many people here display..... and they are not as smart as they think they are....    I was not talking about the Truth...... I was talking about the law which protect lawyers and clergy from revealing confessions.
    • When speaking with others of a different point of view, it is important to treat them with a modicum of respect. It is important not to taunt and ridicule and insult. Of course, if such is your only object, then it is okay to do these things, but not if your goal is to persuade. It is important to present oneself as cognizant to the laws of civility. That way, in the event that you actually do make a valid point, you find that it is not rejected out of hand by persons who simply resent how ill-mannered you are. My greatest fear is that Alan’s cherished evolution is right and that he is the final product of it. If so, kiss goodbye any future for the human race, for that is ensured, not by big dumb animals with horns ramming each other to prove ‘who’s da man?’ but with ordinary persons of moderate intellectual abilities and superior social skills—the latter of which our boy Alan has not a speck. Arguably, this point highlighted above is valid. It is not a game-changer, but neither is it ridiculous. It may be that the “apostate” brush paints far too broadly and many regarded as such do not strictly fit the bill. They fit another bill, that of fomenting divisions, displaying an unyielding spirit to the point that unity and progress ceases, elevating self to godhood, or some such woe. It is in the Book somewhere—certainly the overall spirit should cover it. It is sort of like that StarTrek episode where Picard snapped: “Those Stenchiites have been beating us over the head with that blasted treaty for days! There must be something in it that can benefit us!” There was. Provision in the treaty called for arbitration of disputes, the plaintiff to choose the arbiter, and so Picard chose the Sleepyites, now in the 2nd year of their 20 year hibernation state. For some reason that I do not recall, time was of the essence, and so the Stenchites yielded on their legalistic point. Legalism only takes you so far, and is counterproductive if pushed beyond that point. It is like looking at those solid electrons that dissolve into mush if examined too closely. @Arauna is right when she concedes that Witness has a huge reservoir of verse, but she is totally unable to put them to any practical use. It is the same with AlanF. Yes, he knows a lot of facts and he shows off with them to the most anal degree, but when push comes to shove, what can he show for them? An ability to destroy a WorldNewsMediaForum thread, and not much more. He, like Witness, is good at tearing down (though in different ways). But can he build? Don’t make me laugh. He ladles contempt on any who would stick to an arrangement that they know to be fallible. What in the world is wrong with him? Or his disciple, 4Jah2Me, who puts even “make mistakes” and “errs” under the electron microscope and discovers worlds of difference between them! He says—for he has not yet shed everything, as he presently will—that the end is at least ten years off. In that time, God will be able to raise up a pure anointed who represents him without flaw. I say, “Go for it!” Maybe you can start it up in your basement—as a collaboration with Witness. Ten years down the road I’ll take a look, and if in fact, you have pulled off the trick, I will join you. Meanwhile, I will tell Kim Jung Un to hold off on the nukes, Trump to stop carrying on so others hate his guts, Xi to dismantle social rating and be nicer to those in his camps, Putin to “cut it out,” Greta to just be patient for a few more years. Yeah, go for it 4Jah2Me! I’m sure it will happen that way. Meanwhile, trash the good while holding out for the perfect. Michael Hart wrote about Plato and his ideal government as realized in his concept of philosopher-kings, notable for their ability to convert their academic book-learning into practical results. The concept has never actually been implemented, Hart said. I wrote that it had been. Anyone familiar with Jehovah’s Witnesses will realize at once that his idealist concept fits almost to a tee their Governing Body. https://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2019/01/plato-and-the-governing-body.html I’m serious with regard to 4Jah2Me. Ten years for God to make a better anointed that has enough Holy Spirit to satisfy him? Fine. Run with it. I’ll stay where I am in the meantime because JWs are quite plainly in the vanguard, even with their blunders. Besides, I don’t know how many of their blunders are actually blunders. I do note that John rejoiced that “SOME of your children are walking in the truth.” That’s a pretty weak statement. Don’t you think he would rather have said, “ALL of your children are walking in the truth?” Were the “some” that left all due to the ineptness of that early Christian governance? Or was it the best that could have been expected then (and now) in the course of letting light shine in a world that prefers darkness? “When the son of man arrives, will he really find the faith on earth?” Jesus asks. “Not if I can help it!” Alan says, with an upvote from 4Jah2Me. So bring me what you have in ten years, and if it is the same, only minus the imperfections, count on my support. I’ll bolt. I’m not vested here. I am tired of guys who “make mistakes and err.” I want to be where they don’t make mistakes and they don’t err. Get cracking on it, and if there still is a system of things in ten years, I’ll join you.    
    • I suspect you don't like education.    Is that the best  you can do ? Walk on 
    • Probs' because I'm British and don't understand American humour 
    • May we make conclusion that both, Catholic and JW have "The Truth" about this issue ? :))) This is interesting observation. With this it is possible to see how some individuals are Naturally kind, good, humble, they let God to guide them through "His earthly servants" (who ever they are). :))  Also we can go with this: God "Created them in such Nature" and they don't need congregation, WT publications or even Bible to make them humble and to obey God or other people in "His service". They do not need to make special "efforts" to be in Line with God's will. They do this by Nature. :))    With other perspective (according to definition) something, many thing is/are wrong if we are "sheeple". Definition of sheeple informal : people who are docile, compliant, or easily influenced  
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