ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. -- Ramapo police said at least 200 people protested Friday outside Ping Cellular in Monsey against the store selling smart phones due to religious beliefs.
The store, located in the Town Square Mall on Route 59, is owned and managed by Orthodox Jews, but does sell smart phones to young Hasidic men, whose rabbis prohibit phones with an Internet connection, said lohud.com.
The protestors, all Hasidic men, said the store was defying rabbinical orders by ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis who enacted a ban against the Internet to avoid exposure to secular mores, including access to unfiltered news, added lohud.
Police said the protesters were peaceful and dispersed when the store closed at 2 p.m.
The store's manager said the protesters have the right to be there, but that his store strongly recommended a community-based organization that would install Internet filters for free, added lohud.com.
Several other cell stores in the mostly Hasidic community keep smartphones under the counter, they said.
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