Yemeni Jew is targeted for unwanted haircut

Jews living in Sana’a (photo: Rachel Straecher)

The 70 Jews living in in the Yemeni capital of San’a say they are perfectly happy under the protection of the President – but there is little the President could have done to stop a bigoted policeman from interfering with one Jew’s sidecurls. The Yemen Observer reports, via VosizNeas: (with thanks: Daniel)

Heron Bin Salem, 22, a member of the Jewish community, was awaiting his cousin in front of al-Mustakbal School when an officer along with four security members approached him, “trying to get rid of his unfamiliar look,” Yahya Yousif, the head of the Jewish community in Sana’a told Yemen Observer.

“The officer looked at my cousin and said, ‘I do not like your look (meaning the long curls) and Heron said ‘I am a Jew from Sa’adah.’ The officer, however, got even more angry and said ‘We do not want Jews here,” Yousif said.

The long curls running down the side of their faces characterize Yemeni Jews.

The police held down Ben Salem and tried to cut off his hair.

“The security grabbed Ben Salem’s arms while the officer, armed with a large stick, grabbed his head. Then some people and I intervened and managed to break it off,” Yousif added. The officer was identified as Rashad al-Masri, who is working as the deputy director of al-Nasr police station.

Yousif expressed his thanks to the Minister of Interior, Mutahar Rashad al-Masri who, upon reporting the abuse, took the required measures. (We are not told what these were – ed)

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