Published by: JV Staff
As tensions between Orthodox Jews and city officials in New York City continue to escalate over the imposition of “red zone” closures due to alleged spikes in the coronavirus in those areas, Yeshiva reported to World News that the Muslim Public Affairs Council reached Second early Tuesday morning Circuit sent an amicus letter (friend of the court) to support a lawsuit initiated by the Agudath Israel organization contesting an executive order issued by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo specifically targeting Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens set up to obtain bans.
YWN reported that the Muslim Public Affairs Council stated that they “believe that the Islamic faith teaches Muslims to want for others what they want for themselves, and that the support of the Jewish community in this case is in the interest of the common good lies.”
In an exclusive report, YWN published the first pages of the submitted pleading.
“Since ancient times, people around the world have symbolically transferred the perceived wrongdoings of their community to“ scapegoats ”who are sacrificed in the hope that these wrongdoings will be atoned and the hard times pass. Too often religious minorities have served as scapegoats in times of sickness, war and fear – from Jews during the Black Death to Jehovah’s Witnesses during World War II to Muslims after September 11th. One of a long and troubling series of such incidents is the statements and guidelines of Governor Cuomo, in which Orthodox Jewish communities were held responsible for the spread of COVID-19 and targeted closings and restrictions, despite a lack of evidence.
“The governor’s orders mostly restrict Jewish communities that are tougher than those in neighborhoods with similar COVID rates. Indeed, the governor openly admitted that the Jewish community was the “target” and the “problem”. Such a law aimed at religious behavior is the opposite of a neutral and generally applicable law. See Central Rabbinical Congress v New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, 763 F.3d 183, 193 (2d Cir. 2014).
In addition, government officials have not only tailored but also admitted that the new restrictions are “blunt” and “hatched” as opposed to “a highly nuanced, subtle response.” And the impetus from politics is a “fear-driven reaction”, which is intended to overcome the “fear” of its voters. Fortunately, the first amendment does not sanction religious bigotry as a form of fear management. See Church of the Lukumi Babalu Aye v City of Hialeah, 508 US 520, 531-33 (1993). (YWN)
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