By Guest Nicole
After receiving dozens of complaints of child abuse, including whippings, beatings and forced underaged marriage, Guatemalan forces raid 'Lev Tahor' yard; Former cult member: 'They tried to break your independent thought.'
Guatemalan authorities raided a yard belonging to a community of an extreme Haredi faction Tuesday “Lev Tahor” (Pure Heart) in the country’s capital Guatemala City after a number of serious child abuse complaints.
Lev Tahor is an ultra-Orthodox sect comprised of predominantly Israeli Haredi extremists who leave their families behind in Israel as part of a wider boycott of Zionism. The group is widely considered to be a cult for its extreme conduct which adheres to the strict word of Jewish scripture.
Raid in Guatemala
The authorities arrested the leaders of the sect and also took dozens of Israeli children and babies in their possession. Since the raid, Israel has established contacts with Guatemala to coordinate the flight of the children back home.
The cult, which is headed by Shlomo Erez Helbrans, who 10 years ago was recognized as a refugee in Canada, consists of 230 members, 150 of whom are children. Until 2013, they resided in the St. Agate province in Quebec but were forced to move to Ontario.
Two-and-a-half years ago the Canadian authorities thwarted an attempt by the sect to send its adherents to Guatemala after the Canadian courts decreed that some of the children be transferred to foster families due to evidence proving that they were suffering serious abuse.
Raid on Haredi extremist faction
However, the sect succeeded in transferring a number of the children to Guatemala giving rise to a legal battle over the last few years to expel them back to Canada.
According to social services in Quebec and Ontario, they have evidence of instances of abuse including beatings, child marriage and illegal education.
One former member of the faction ‘A.’ described the prevailing culture of brainwashing by the leader. “People would follow us for him and report back to him. He would then take me and others for discussions which lasted for hours. The aim was to break your independent thought and to prove how big he was,” A. recalled.
According to the Guatemalan authorities, “Lev Tahor” said that members of the cult were under national police surveillance.
Evaluations indicate that Helbrans made a decision to secretly transfer the cult to Guatemala after Canadian authorities began waging a legal battle against it and demanded that children be placed in the care of foster care. According to families in the cult in Israel, Helbrans abused the children with clubs, coat hangers and iron rods and would sometimes lock them in basements. Moreover, social services in Quebec received reports that the children were forced to marry as young as 14.
The raid in the group’s yard came at the request of the Israeli government. According to a statement by the Guatemalan authorities, the evidence compiled showed cases of, among other things, of “marriage between children, physical and emotional abuse against members of the community and against children. This evidence raises concerns about the physical and emotional well being of dozens of Israeli children currently residing in Guatemala under the sponsorship of the community.“
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State Attorney’s Office, the Welfare Ministry and the Israel Police have been tracking the group’s development for a number of years and are all in contact with the relevant bodies, both in Canada and Guatemala.
“I hope this will be the end of the nightmare for many people and children,” said A. He added that while he never witnessed any violence during his time in the cult, he heard about serious misdeeds.
“I heard screaming from different houses of the cult members, and eventually I heard members telling about threatening acts such as humiliation, violence and whippings. One mother received orders to hit her child in the presence of others,” the former member recalled.
By Guest Nicole
Baku. Mubariz Aslanov – APA. Chairman of the State Committee for Work with Religious Organizations of AzerbaijanMubariz Gurbanli received Chairman of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses Tony Brace and the association’s representative Mariano Makias Guzman on Sept. 14.
During the meeting Gurbanli noted that the state-religion relations in Azerbaijan are regulated by the Constitution and the Law “On freedom of religion”.
“96% of the Azerbaijani population is Muslims,” he said, stressing that religious tolerance is characteristic of the Azerbaijani society and is one of its important achievements.
“In Azerbaijan special attention is paid to ensure freedom of conscience and faith, create an inter-religious communication bridge and expand cooperation between religious denominations,” the committee chairman added.
Gurbanli said Yehovah's Witnesses has also a community in Azerbaijan, but it has not passed re-registration.
The guests, in turn, informed about the activities of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses in Europe.
Deputy chairmen of the State Committee Seyavush Heydarov and Gunduz Ismayilov also attended the meeting.
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By Guest Nicole
Muslim pilgrims cast pebbles in a symbolic stoning of the devil, during the annual pilgrimage, known as the hajj, in Mina outside of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Sweden's state broadcaster scrapped plans to air a documentary about anti-Semitism and jihad, fearing it could offend the nation's growing Muslim population, Danish media reports. The station says it won't be aired because it failed to document reality.
“A muslim man can have sexual pleasure with a little girl as young as a baby. But he should not penetrate her vaginally, however he can sodomize her”. (Tehriro vasyleh, fourth edition, Qom, Iran, 1990)
EVIDENCE THAT ISLAM ALLOWS CHILDREN TO ENGAGE IN SEX BEFORE MENSTRUATION
First, we need to establish that Islam allows female children to be married and engaged in sex prior to their first menses (prepubescent). For that we turn to the Islamic source materials. Starting with the Quran:
If you are in doubt concerning those of your wives who have ceased menstruating, know that their waiting period shall be three months. The same shall apply to those who have not menstruated. As for pregnant women, their term shall end with their confinement. God will ease the hardship of the man who fears him. 65:4, Dawood
Brother Sam Shamoun comments on this verse:
The surrounding context deals with the issue of the waiting period for divorce, and remarriage. The Quran is telling Muslims to wait for a certain period of time before making the divorce final or deciding to forego it. The Quran exhorts men to wait a period of three months in the case of women who either are no longer menstruating or haven’t even started their menstrual cycles! (Source)
Since Muslim men are to wait 3 months before divorcing a prepubescent child it means that they have been engaging in sex with those children.
Borrowing from Sam’s work (*) I quote three Islamic scholars commentary related to 65:4 and the subject of sex with prepubescent children:
Ibn Kathir writes regarding 65:4
<divorce them at their `Iddah>, "The `Iddah is made up of cleanliness and the menstrual period." So he divorces her while it is clear that she is pregnant, or he does not due to having sex, or since he does not know if she is pregnant or not. This is why the scholars said that there are two types of divorce, one that conforms to the Sunnah and another innovated. The divorce that conforms to the Sunnah is one where the husband pronounces one divorce to his wife when she is not having her menses and without having had sexual intercourse with her after the menses ended. One could divorce his wife when it is clear that she is pregnant. As for the innovated divorce, it occurs when one divorces his wife when she is having her menses, or after the menses ends, has sexual intercourse with her and then divorces her, even though he does not know if she became pregnant or not. There is a third type of divorce, which is neither a Sunnah nor an innovation where one divorces A YOUNG WIFE WHO HAS NOT BEGUN TO HAVE MENSES, the wife who is beyond the age of having menses, and divorcing one's wife before the marriage was consummated. (Source; bold and capital emphasis ours)
Al-Tabari said regarding 65:4
The interpretation of the verse "And those of your women as have passed the age of monthly courses, for them the 'Iddah (prescribed period), if you have doubt (about their periods), is three months; and for those who have no courses [(i.e. they are still immature) their 'Iddah (prescribed period) is three months likewise". He said: The same applies to the 'idaah for girls who do not menstruate because they are too young, if their husbands divorce them after consummating the marriage with them.
Tafseer al-Tabari, 14/142 (Source: Islam Q&A (www.islam-qa.com)
(Question #12708: Is it acceptable to marry a girl who has not yet started her menses?)
Regarding sex with prepubescent children, Abu-Ala’ Maududi states:
"Therefore, making mention of the waiting-period for girls who have not yet menstruated, clearly proves that it is not only permissible to give away the girl at this age but it is permissible for the husband to consummate marriage with her. Now, obviously no Muslim has the right to forbid a thing which the Qur’an has held as permissible." (Maududi, volume 5, p. 620, note 13, emphasis added)
It is clear: Muslim men can engage in sex with prepubescent children!
By Jack Ryan
An official Austria Watchtower delegation meeting with government and religion leaders of that country.
What was the job title of Walter SchneeweiB?
Pope Francis demonstrates love for neighbor by welcoming 12 Syrian Refugees to the Vatican.
By Guest Nicole