Shorts: World

Russian mufti stands by remarks

A leader of Russia’s Muslim community refused to repudiate his statements equating Zionism to fascism.

Nafigullah Ashirov, co-chairman of the Russian Council of Muftis, at a news conference last month called Zionism a cancer and Israel a fascist state, causing a short-lived split between Russia’s largest Jewish and Muslim organizations.

Ashirov told the Interfax news service April 3 that the dust-up was provoked by the Federation of Jewish Communities.

“I really do love the Jewish people, but I have a very negative attitude about the aggressive policies of the Israeli state,” he said. — jta

Bulgaria recognizes Holocaust crimes

Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov, during a visit last month to Israel, accepted responsibility for the deaths of more than 11,000 Jews during World War II.

Acting under Nazi orders, Bulgarian police arrested Jews in Thrace and Macedonia and deported them to Treblinka in 1943. At the time, those territories were under Bulgarian control.

Parvanov is the first Bulgarian leader to accept responsibility for the deaths. — jta

Class cancellations under scrutiny

York University’s practice of canceling classes on Jewish holidays is discriminatory, a Canadian panel recently announced.

An Ontario Human Rights Commission investigation said the practice violates the provincial Human Rights Code’s protection against

discrimination based on a person’s “creed.”

The Toronto university has canceled classes on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur for 34 years. — jta

Facebook death threat probed

A Jewish woman in Melbourne, Australia, received a death threat on Facebook from a man claiming to be a Hezbollah member.

Australian counter-terror experts launched an investigation following the threat by a man called Ibrahim Dirani.

According to police documents, the member of a Lebanese-based Facebook group allegedly wrote after the Israeli woman rejected his offer of an online friendship, “I am Hezbollah and I am going to kill you and all of your family — promise you.” — jta