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June 11, 2012 9:01 am

Hamas Linked Group Backs Orthodox Jew in Dispute With NYPD

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NYPD vehicle. Photo: wiki commons.

Fishel Litzman, the Orthodox Jewish NYPD recruit who was dismissed from the police academy over the length of his beard – which he keeps for religious purposes  – is receiving support from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a group with suspected links to the terrorist group Hamas.

“We urge the NYPD to reinstate Mr. Litzman and to work out a reasonable compromise that protects his religious rights and those of other officers while maintaining good order and discipline in the ranks,” said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Manager Cyrus McGoldrick.

The police department says Litzman “did not comply with the NYPD’s reasonable accommodation to keep his beard trimmed,” according to Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne. “He did not keep it trimmed to 1mm and he stated that it was his intention to never cut or trim his beard.”

While Browne says that other NYPD officers who are of the Orthodox Jewish community have no issues with observing the department’s “reasonable accommodation” of keeping beards within 1mm of length, Litzman says “it is absolutely forbidden in my religious beliefs to cut or trim my beard in any way.”

In a release to reporters, CAIR says it is dealing with a similar situation involving a Muslim NYPD officer who is “facing disciplinary action because of his beard”.

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  • saidi

    The only similarity between the Arab case and the Jewish case is the beard.

    The reasons are neither similar nor the same.

    There is no basis to link them and I agree this article should not even have mentioned CAIR and its client unless they mentioned case facts.

  • kevobx

    Judiasm is from where? Synagogues and the temple of the lord (Jeremiah 7:4). Moses never spoke about Levite priests, (Hebrews 7:14). *Numbers 2:33 But the Levites were not numbered among the children of Israel: as the Lord commanded Moses. (John 1:17)

    • bradevans

      and this means what?

    • saidi

      are you trying to articulate something?

  • Chaya

    CAIR has given its support because it wants to be able to infiltrate the police department with no problems. If other observant police officers have no problem with keeping their beards trimmed, I don’t see what this guy is kvetching about. He’s trying to make an issue out of nothing.

    • saidi

      Lubavitcher hassidim are not permitted to cut or trim their beards. There are other ways to groom beards without cutting/trimming.

  • evan

    Why does this paper have to bring up that this group is affliated….maybe… with hamas? Is that even the story….or should we take the high road and just appreciate the gesture instead of name calling. This is supposed to be a Jewish paper right?

  • Wolfson

    Regarding the significance of the beard in Judaism, see