Canadian court orders removal of Jewish artifacts from taxicab

MONTREAL, Canada (WJC) — A municipal court ruled that a Jewish cab driver must not display religious artifacts and other objects in his taxi. Arieh Perecowicz, 66, lost his when a court upheld several fines against him for having too many personal and religious objects in his car. He was ordered to pay US$ 1,300, half of it for court costs. Perecowicz had argued that he was comforted by having articles of his Jewish faith in the car, including photos of the late ‘Lubavitcher Rebbe’ Menachem Schneerson and two mezuzahs affixed to the car frame between the front and back doors.

At various times, his decorations included photos of his wife and daughter, small Canadian and Israeli flags and a Remembrance Day poppy. Over the years, the Montreal Taxi Bureau fined Perecowicz eight times under a regulation that bans any “object or inscription that is not required for the taxi to be in service.” Perecowicz argued that this violated his freedom of expression. He does not plan to remove the personal effects from his cab, and told the ‘Montreal Gazette’ that he would appeal the ruling “all the way to the Supreme Court, if I have to.”

“For me, to not have these things is like being totally naked. They’re part of my identity,” he said in an interview. “To force me to remove them is discriminatory.”

Preceding provided by World Jewish Congress

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