Thursday, November 24, 2011

Attack on Amish Community at Ohio – culprits brought to book !!

There is something that occurred in US State of Ohio that has attracted much attraction – you can draw parallel to the attacks that occurred 6 / 7 decades ago in Tamilnadu, but the analogy stops there. !!
Amish are small sub-sect of Christians forming what is known as Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology.  Their history is traced with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693.  These followers were originally from three main places: the German-speaking parts of Switzerland, Alsace (now part of France), and the Palatinate of Germany.  Later they migrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. Today, the most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as Pennsylvania Dutch.  It is reported that they marry within their faith and that the rules of the church are to be observed religiously by every member.  The rules cover most aspects of day-to-day living, and include prohibitions or limitations on the use of power-line electricity, telephones, and automobiles, as well as regulations on clothing. Many Amish church members may not buy insurance or accept government assistance such as Social Security. They typically operate their own one-room schools and discontinue formal education at grade eight. They value rural life, manual labor and humility. Because of a smaller gene pool, some groups have increased incidences of certain inheritable conditions
Whatever they be – they are entitled to follow their own principles as long as they do not violate the vowed principles of the State and as long as they do not indulge in harming or fighting with others – one tends to believe – but what if those who do no accept their principles do try to harm them and their sentiments ? – Are they not entitled to protection from the State.
There had been reports of Amish men and women have had their beards and hair cut in a spate of assaults that have been blamed on a breakaway group in the community. Jefferson County Sheriff  told journalists that Amish communities had been terrified by the attacks. There are reports that Seven men have been charged with hate-crime in the US state of Ohio following a number of hair-cutting attacks in the Amish community. The suspects have been identified according to an affidavit from the Department of Justice.  They are accused of carrying out "religiously motivated physical assaults" and causing injury by use of a dangerous weapon. The criminal complaint charges them with "wilfully caused bodily injury... or attempting to do so by use of a dangerous weapon, because of the actual or perceived religion of that person". It is alleged that they "forcibly restrained multiple Amish men and cut off their beards and head hair with scissors and battery-powered clippers", according to the Department of Justice.
Some of the offenders reportedly  had earlier been arrested for similar offences.  The affidavit alleges that the men took photographs of their victims as evidence of the hair-cutting.
Department of Justice rightfully appears to have brought to book the offenders and have brought some relief to the community which had suffered persecution.
With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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