Shorts: World

Muslim gets jail for attack in Canada

A Muslim man who attacked a Jewish girl and her friends has been handed a one-year jail sentence from a Canadian court.

Provincial Court Judge Bill Cummings also ruled that Mustafa Taj, 21, must serve a year of probation.

The judge ruled the assault was a hate crime. Taj was convicted in May of attacking four Calgary teenagers in November 2006 as they waited for a train.

He slapped and pulled the hair of Nichola Cordato, who identified herself as Jewish after he said, “I’m Muslim and hate Jews.” When her friends attempted to intervene, he punched one in the face and kicked another in the stomach and ribs. He threw another friend on to the train tracks. — jta

Chabad official forms group in Russia

The executive director of the Chabad-led Federation of Jewish Communities of the former Soviet Union has left his post to create an independent group in Moscow.

Rabbi Avraham Berkowitz, 32, was recruited by the chief Chabad rabbi in Russia, Berel Lazar, and the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities, Lev Leviev, to head the organization’s fundraising and outreach efforts in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

He envisions that his new office, which has no official status and no name as yet, will develop projects to reach the most assimilated Russian Jews — those who never come to a synagogue or observe Jewish holidays. This would encompass a majority of Russian Jews in the former Soviet Union. — jta

Did funeral celebrate anti-Semitic crimes?

The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on Croatia’s president to condemn the organizers of a recent funeral for a concentration camp commander, saying it was turned into a celebration of his crimes.

Dinko Sakic’s funeral was an “outrageous display of unrepentant racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia,” the group’s Israeli branch director, Efraim Zuroff, said in a letter addressed to President Stipe Mesic.

Sakic died at age 87 on July 20 as he served 20 years in prison for war crimes he committed while heading the infamous Jasenovac camp, the worst of about 40 camps run by the Nazi puppet regime of Croatia.

According to the Croatian daily newspaper Vecernji List, Sakic was buried last week in a uniform of Ustasha, the local pro-Nazi movement at the time. The paper also reported that a priest called Sakic a “model for all Croatians.” — ap