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Amish Hair Cutting Hate Crime Leaders Arrested
 
  by: iradiotom - Philadelphia, PA
started: 11/25/11 10:31 am | updated: 11/25/11 10:31 am
 
Members of a breakaway Amish sect have been arrested in association with hate crimes against the Amish community. In September and October the breakaway group forcefully cut the beards and hair of Amish men and women. Cutting the hair is a highly offensive act to the Amish, who believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards and stop shaving once they marry.

The leader of a breakaway Amish group, Sam Mullet, allowed the beatings of those who disobeyed him, made some members sleep in a chicken coop and had sexual relations with married women to "cleanse them," federal authorities said as they charged him and six others with hate crimes in hair-cutting attacks against other Amish.

Authorities raided the group's compound in eastern Ohio on Wednesday morning and arrested seven men, including group leader Sam Mullet and three of his sons.

Several members of the group carried out the attacks. The attacks struck at the core of the Amish identity and tested their principles. They strongly believe that they must be forgiving in order for God to forgive them, which often means handing out their own punishment and not reporting crimes to law enforcement.

The attacks had terrorized Amish communities, Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said at a news conference Wednesday.

"You've got Amish all over the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania and Indiana that are concerned. We've received hundreds and hundreds of calls from people living in fear," he said. "They are buying Mace, some are sitting with shotguns, getting locks on their doors because of Sam Mullet."

Mullet told The Associated Press in October that he didn't order the hair-cutting but didn't stop his sons and others from carrying it out. He said the goal was to send a message to other Amish that they should be ashamed of themselves for the way they were treating Mullet and his community.
 
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