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Thousands rally against radical Orthodox sect

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-12-28

Thousands of Israelis gathered on Tuesday near Jerusalem to protest a radical Jewish sect that is trying to impose its strict lifestyle on others. President Shimon Peres urged the public to attend the protest.

AP - Thousands of Israelis have gathered in a city outside Jerusalem to demonstrate against a radical Jewish sect that is trying to impose its strict lifestyle on others.

The city of Beit Shemesh has been the center of a national uproar since an 8-year-old schoolgirl told a local TV station last week that she is scared to go to school because members of the ultra-Orthodox sect spit at her and curse her. They claim the girl, herself an Orthodox Jew, was not dressed properly.

Religious coercion has become a big issue in Israel, and President Shimon Peres urged the public to attend Tuesday’s protest.

Protesters held signs reading “Free Israel from religious coercion,” and “Stop Israel from becoming Iran.”

Members of the sect were nowhere in sight during the protest.

Date created : 2011-12-27

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