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Circumcision: religious right or crime?
Photo: DPA

Circumcision: religious right or crime?

Published: 26 Jun 2012 11:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 26 Jun 2012 11:55 GMT+02:00

Doctors called upon to perform circumcisions for religious reasons have long been in a legal grey area – but when challenged, could plea that there was no clear ruling against it, the Financial Times Deutschland reported on Tuesday.

But now the Cologne district court has ruled that neither the rights of parents, nor the constitutionally guaranteed freedom of religion can justify what it defined as bodily harm.

A lawyer who has long campaigned for such a ruling said it was a question of basic rights of children being respected.

“The court has, in contrast to many politicians, not allowed itself to be scared by the fear of being criticised as anti-Semitic or opposed to religion,” said Holm Putzke.

But Muslim and Jewish groups have been determined to prevent criminalisation of circumcision, viewing such a ruling as a serious attack on their freedom of religion.

Should the state keep its nose out of such questions? Is the criminalisation of ancient and widespread practices offensive to Jews and Muslims? What kind of signal does this give to people being urged to integrate into German society?

Or is the court simply fulfilling its duty to protect infants and young children from unnecessary surgical procedures that they have no way of making a choice about?

Registered users of The Local may add their comments in the field below. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here – it’s free and only takes a moment.

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Your comments about this article

12:41 June 26, 2012 by mobaisch
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:46 June 26, 2012 by Kölner
The photo of the little boy being circumcised, being held down by several adults, strongly

reminds me of what I've heard about sexual child-abuse, the worst crime imaginable.

Someone's obsessed with private parts for sure. Some religions are.

Someone has to take off their clothes to feel special, and it's not the Germans.
13:01 June 26, 2012 by freechoice
That looks painful!! He hasn't got a choice?
13:14 June 26, 2012 by auslanderus
You mean to tell me that the courts have nothing better to debate than some child (boy/baby) being circumcised? Must be a slow day in the court system. It has been proven that for a boy that later in life the male penis is more sentive when making love when they are not circumcised.
13:36 June 26, 2012 by mos101392
@auslanderus

Yeah, but I don't have to pull anything back when I clean nor is there any cheese :O)
13:42 June 26, 2012 by ale3982
This seems to be a bit of an extreme case - my understaning is that most circumcisions are performed in the first 10 days of life. Very odd that a 4-year-old was circumcised. I understand some countries restict them from a certain age onwards - perhaps that would be a better approach.

I start to get very concerned that the state is taking on this - especially considering potential medical benefits. I have yet to see many circumcised men talking about how this traumatic event has caused them to lead an unfulfilled life requiring couselling before they could be a functioning member of society. Abuse? Comparable to locking a child up, or beatings, or starving a child, or emotional control?

I hope this gets recinded.
13:45 June 26, 2012 by iseedaftpeople
Circumcision serves no real medical purpose beyond religious traditions and convictions. It is often said (or rather, assumed) that circumcision, and as a result of which the absence of the foreskin, facilitates personal hygiene and prevents infections and the spreading of germs and illnesses to sexual partners. But medical research has never been able to prove that this can't be prevented simply by thorough personal hygiene.

My question is this -- the procedure is mostly done during infancy or at a young age, going by the above picture. And apparently often without anaesthetics, no less. Why not let the person decide for themselves once they are old enough? I mean, Western societies increasingly tend to wrap their young in cotton wool and emphasize the - received - wisdom of putting off any elective medical procedure until a child is old enough. But it is somehow A-OK to cut off a young boy's foreskin, a somewhat painful and potentially traumatic experience?

I should probably add that as an atheist, any religious argument in favor of ritual circumcision to me is invalid. But that's beside the point here. To me this is a matter of common sense, and questioning the wisdom of things that have simply "always been this way".
14:13 June 26, 2012 by Edin
There certainly are medical opinions in favour of circumsision, and there are those which say it is not necessary. So even if we say that procedure is not necessary, there is still absolutelly no proof that it is damaging.

If parents have right to allow plastic surgery of any type, like sticky ears, boobs etc to their children... which could just as well have similar complications as the case above, than forbidding the Circumcision is clear anti-semitism, hypcricy at least.

What this article and The Local are misinterpreting, is that the Cuo
14:40 June 26, 2012 by ml66uk
It's illegal to cut off a girl's prepuce, or to make any incision on a girl's genitals, even if no tissue is removed, and even if the parents think it's their religious right or obligation. Even a pinprick is banned.

Why don't boys get the same protection? Everyone should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want parts of their genitals cut off. It's *their* body.
14:53 June 26, 2012 by raandy
The Islamic societies perform this barbaric rite on teenagers .According to a a study of 32 mutilations conducted by the Oxford Islamic Society 13 of these resulted in infections serious bleeding, scarring and other serious complications.

Parents have no more right to do this to their children than they do beating their children. I agree this is a crime and the courts decision is a good one.
15:03 June 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig
I am uncircumcised, and I wish I had been. I have gotten Urinary Tract Infections from my girlfriend, one of which resulted in a kidney infection. The foreskin acts as a harbor for bacteria, that would have otherwise been washed away.
15:04 June 26, 2012 by danhab
There is no solid medical evidence in favor or against circumcision. The theory that losing one's foreskin decreases sexual enjoyment can be equally refuted as the notion that circumcision helps to stay longer and have an intense orgasm. It depends on the individual. The problem of hygiene is addressed by cleaning -although constant cleaning after each sex is some work.
15:11 June 26, 2012 by raandy
IchBinKönig I agree with you that being uncircumcised can create problems. I am not against it but believe it should be performed by a medical doctor in a surgical environment for health reasons.
15:20 June 26, 2012 by ml66uk
@IchBinKönig :

Circumcised men get UTI's too, and women get about four times as many UTI's as men. It's far easier for an intact man to clean his genitals than for a woman to clean hers, but we don't cut parts off baby girls.
15:26 June 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@ml66uk

You're reaching, dude. You're saying its ok for uncircumcised men to get UTIs because women get them , too? not your strongest argument.
15:41 June 26, 2012 by JackieNO
Finally a country is standing up for the basic human right of a human to keep all of his sensory system, all of his nerves, all of his blood vessels, protective covering and pleasure zones.

Other countries should follow this lead. Baby boy penis parts removal should be considered illegal NOW in the United States under the 1996 federal law banning genital cutting -- 14th Amendment equal protection clause.

Those saying that preventing the cutting off of penis parts of a baby boy violates the cutter's freedom of religion, are way out there in irrational land. One's religion ends where their knife touches another human's body. The idea that another human's ritual (rite) trumps ones right to body parts is insane and creepy. Baby boy penis parts removal cuts off thousands of fine touch and stretch nerves. This is like disconnecting the fingertips, nipples or lips from the brain. No human should be subjected to sensory system harm as well as a forced decrease of sexual function and PLEASURE for life!
15:49 June 26, 2012 by catjones
The question is: had it not been for some 'religious' dictum would men have come up with the idea of circumcision on their own?

Two men talking in the shower room. 'Hey Frank, I'm thinking of cutting off my foreskin. How about you?' I can't quite picture this conversation.
15:52 June 26, 2012 by geraldo
Like female circumcision, male circumcision is barbaric and mutilating and should only be done when the infant reaches adulthood so as to understand that it DOES permanently deprive the penis of sensory rich skin and thus sexual pleasure when the child reaches pubescence onwards. Infections, like herpes, CAN be transmitted (The Jewish rabbi sucks the blood of the infant's penis) and rarely deaths from exsanguination have occurred. There is absolutely NO evidence whatsoever that it can make the orgasm more intense, which is utter rubbish and a desperate attempt to justify it. The Bible does NOT mention circumcision. It was interpreted by the satanic Talmudists as a Covenant with Abraham, but then the Babylonian Talmud also allows sex with a three year old girl and a boy under the age of nine. i.e. It encourages and permits pedophilia.
15:59 June 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig
@catjones

'I can't quite picture this conversation. '

You also can't picture being infested with infection at a time when antibiotics did not exist.

It would sound more like this ' Hey, Frank. I just had to cut off another poor sods gnarly infected foreskin this morning. I think maybe we should start cutting them off before they get infected. I heard Bob hasn't had any problems since we cut his off. How about you? Pass the soap.'
16:00 June 26, 2012 by danhab
@catjones, I can't quite picture two men in the shower.
16:11 June 26, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
You guys are talking around the subject:

1)When I can pee outside, in the freezing cold,with both hands in my pockets, I am grateful for being circumcised.

2) When I must go a long time without a proper bath, and do not have smegma all over the place, I am grateful for being circumcised.

3) Women prefer it.

And that is that...
17:09 June 26, 2012 by laurelwing
I urge lawmakers to remind religious groups that 'freedom of religion' should apply to the person to whom it is being applied to. I believe people should have the right to not have their body permanently scared until they can decide for themselves if they believe it necessary to their faith. An individual's religious right ends where another persons body or property begin.

@SchwabHallRocks, I can assure you that this woman prefers an uncut to a cut penis, yet will not be as shallow as to discriminate my choice of partner based on the state of his, ahem... "Member" and would be more picking about his hygiene in general (but if you have to go without a proper bath for a long time: it's pretty easy to stick it out over the sink and give it a quick rinse) and I would be more likely not to want to go with you for peeing outside regularly with your hands in your pockets than whether you were cut or not... Be a Mensch. Leave babies penises alone.
17:29 June 26, 2012 by JDee
Good decision. Had a couple of circumcised friends as a teenager and felt sorry for them. I would hate my parents if they had done that to me, I love my foreskin! No one should have the right to take it away from a child. Never had any problems, just remember to pee after sex. Nature knows best.
17:34 June 26, 2012 by Tatsiana
I have seen men circumcised and not, and I can for sure say - circumcised looks WAAAAY beter. I am sorry for details, but it looks better, and works better, and its much nicer to play with it in any way. Circumcised men have been much more passionate lovers, and there is even medical advantage to it. (well, maybe yes, maybe no... But its cleaner for sure). I know some guys that had issue with their foreskin being too attached, or infections etc. And thats in teenage, when they are so sensitive about being a man. As for sensitivity: I have talked to a man who did this procedure when he was 25, and he said he hardly felt any difference in sensitivity.

I have grown up in culture where nearly no one gets circumcised, and in fact I didn't know about this procedure until I moved to Europe. But I have very quickly realized, that I have a baby-boy some day, I'll do it without a doubt - so much trouble it will save him in life. And I am not a religious person at all.

If they forbid this, they should also forbid piercing ears until the age of 18 (it can also cause complications).

I have seen how circumcision can improve the quality of sexual life of a man, and this is something I would wish for my child.

For those who say it has to be done after the child is 18, think about the fact that many of those problems related to the presence of foreskin happen way before 18. Not to mention that kids in nowadays start having sex very early.

Restricting? Maybe (for example, to do it at a VERY early age, when it can do no physiological harm). Forbidding? - Its just ridiculous!!!
18:21 June 26, 2012 by VictoriaCircumcisionResources
Tatsiana, it's illogical to presume that amputating 240 feet of nerves and approximately 20,000 specialized nerve endings that are not found elsewhere on the penis would not cause a loss of sensitivity.

Finding a scarred, dried out, keritanized penis that literally scoops lubrication out of a woman's vagina due to the now-exposed coronal hook to be more attractive makes no sense either.

Comparing the removal of what is 15 square inches of the most erogenous tissue on a male's body with ear piercing is a laughable comparison.

For the sake of your future children, I hope you will read some actual scientific evidence rather than forcing cosmetic surgery on an unconsenting baby. Start with the British Medical Journal's recommended library: CIRP [dot] ORG [slash] LIBRARY
18:30 June 26, 2012 by IchBinKönig
The religious argument is moot. My divine duty as a highly devout Rastafarian, to freely smoke da heeeerb, man. have been denied me for years.

Besides its not a Religious issue, its a Parents Rights issue. Who cares what religion the parents are? Just make sure that the people performing circumcisions are qualified to do so. Whats next? Piercing babies ears?
18:34 June 26, 2012 by catjones
SchwabHallRocks..sounds like you have a hygiene problem. Circumcision is not the answer. Try soap.

IchBinKönig...if that were the case (and you have zero proof) natural selection would have removed the foreskin. 70% of the male population are not circumcised.

'Hey, Bob, since I pulled all my teeth out, no more toothaches. Let me get my pliers.'

danhab...sheltered life? Sports, armed services, school gym, saunas.
18:53 June 26, 2012 by Tatsiana
@ VictoriaCircumcisionResources I am not saying it doesn't change, I am saying it changes sensitivity in a good way. I think most of men and woman would prefer to have sex with a guy, who comes at least AFTER they penetrate. + based on some personal experiences of people who have done it in mature age - it doesn't change as dramatic. Non of circumcised men ever complained on not enjoying sex. In fact, most of them still like sex more then 57% of German women (who according to The Local prefer to watch TV over sex). So loss of sensitivity is a lame argument.

And, OMG, Dear Victoria, is it what you really think when you look at a man's penis? I don't know about those "scarred, dried out, keritanized" words that you are saying. I am just saying, that I prefer to touch and kiss something that I can actually see is clean, then try to guess how long the guy didn't shower by finding some whatever behind his foreskin. And it definitely doesn't "scoop out" the lubrication - it uses it for very appropriate function. Maybe some prefer "Shar-Pej" like, but I think most of the women, who tried both would agree, that circumcised looks better.

I make my conclusions based on my own experience, experiences of non-circumcised and circumcised man. And sex life of circumcised simply seems to me better (from what they say). You say the science says it? Well, taking into account how conservative British science is, I would think they do a lot of "data torture", when they twist and turn their research to fit their beliefs.

After all, you provide scientific point of view (which for some reason says nothing about the effect on ACTUAL health and well being), I provide "end-user" point of view. But, hey, what are we talking about? Why don't we ask men themselves.
19:05 June 26, 2012 by catjones
Tatsiana...for the sake of argument, let's say you have a relationship with a man who is as superficial and shallow as you are and he says, 'Hey Tatsiana, a circumcised woman really turns me on. She just looks WAAAAY better.' Are go going to do it?

Further, you have a baby girl and your man says, 'I like the clean look.' You going to do your daughter too?
19:26 June 26, 2012 by danhab
If you are going to compare circumcised and uncut ones, your best sources of info are not british scientists (who are most probably uncut anyways). You have america with higher percentage of white people with no prior knowledge of the practice has accepted it, where majority of women prefer their sons or/and partners to be circumcised. European women may not have experience with uncut ones and they will never know. It is not something they will read and understand.

About people saying "scars left from the cut", there is no scar at least if it's done at young age.

sensitivity? there is no medical evidence. Even if there is, it results in PE.

I think if it is done in a clinic, the circumcision is a good practice.
19:40 June 26, 2012 by Tatsiana
catjones, of course not. I would not do either of those things.

But if 30% of women in the world have been cut, and they said they are happy about it, I would consider this procedure. If I would find one woman, who said that it didn't make any difference in her life, and at least one doctor told me that it will decrease my chances of having a bladder problem, I would do it.

There are so many things that are left out of consideration just because they make profit: smoking, sun exposure (especially those solarium), drinking. Parents should be punished for not protecting their children from those (for example those parents who smoke inside the house, or give their 16 year old daughter a monthly ticket to solarium).

Everything has to be done in reasonable way - at the correct age by specialized people. If its so harmful and bad - educate people, just as you educate people about drugs.

Thanks to @ VictoriaCircumcisionResources of course I will check what she is saying just because she might happen to have a point. But if I find no evidence against this procedure (and I mean, evidence that it HARMS), I would still go for it.

And also, of course my bf would have a final word in this whole thing: because he is a guy and he at least know how it is: to be (or not to be) circumcised. And if he says, its better to do it (and he is not a religious man at all), then we will do it.
19:53 June 26, 2012 by raandy
catjones "Tatsiana...for the sake of argument, let's say you have a relationship with a man who is as superficial and shallow as you are" LOL good one, guess it went soaring overhead.
19:56 June 26, 2012 by Nina Williams
I'm with Tatsiana on this one and I am also not religious. I married a circumcised guy, and I must say I love his penis the way it is. He seems to enjoy sex just fine and doesn't appear emotionally scarred to me and yes it looks and in some cases smells much better than uncircumcised men. But this is my personal opinion. Did I pick my husband based on his penis? No. It was a pleasant suprise to see this beautiful thing after falling in love with his witty mind. I would really love to know where these figures about losing millions of nerves and what not are coming from and more importantly who is funding this research. Whereas I have met circumcised women, and they are truly scarred for life and left frigid, I have yet to meet a circumcised man who claims the same. In fact, my husband and I decided to circumcise our son if we should ever have one. My part of the decision was influenced by the fact that my brother, who is uncircumcised, had the procedure done to his son, my nephew.
20:05 June 26, 2012 by wagnha
In a perfect world everyone would be able to decide for themselves what they wanted. We don't live in a perfect world, but we should strive to let others make decisions for themselves when they are capable of doing so. This may mean religion takes a backseat to individual rights.

Having been circumcised as a baby, I don't know what it would be like to be uncircumcised. Having been in the military and having only 5 gallons of water for 11 soldiers for showers in 30 days, I understand the potential hygiene issues. Already having been circumcised, I imagine in some ways it may be better having it done as a baby since you don't have to worry about it later and make a decision when you will remember the pain.....but in that case I didn't get to make the decision.

If one has access to soap and water, then hygiene shouldn't be an issue one way or another. However, the procedure itself should be treated as a surgery since you are putting another person at risk of potential complications.

As for looks and functionality.....that is individual preference. I am sure there are men that prefer to be uncircumcised and those that prefer being circumcised.....and women with the same preferences (for their men).

In my personal opinion about female circumcision, I am against it since as it is practiced in parts of the world, it tends to cause diminished sexual pleasure for the women that have undergone the process. It is said to be extremely painful and often times is performed so that the woman does not derive sexual pleasure from sex. This may not be the case in all instances, but probably the majority.
20:08 June 26, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
If the father is / is not circumcised the son should / should not be circumcised so that the child bonds / identifies with the father since the father is the primary male figure in the boy'ss development.

It is ironic to read commentary from the non-circumcised in a German blog about a topic related to sex / reproduction. Germany, Russia, all the Mediterranean countries have negative birth rates. Native Germans are slowly and certainly becoming extinct.

In the meantime, the circumcised Americans and Moslems are going to inherit the world since they are the only ones having positive birth rates (in the context of this article).

@Nina - thank you for a sensible contribution. Given your husband is, if you have a son, so should he. Ask a rational doctor not swayed by the hyperbole of the day. Also, thank you for trying to explain to the others there is a difference between male and female circumcision.
20:34 June 26, 2012 by tommy2shoes
The New Testament states that circumcision is not required now and if you want to, go ahead if not, that's ok also. I would rather not have been circumcised. I believe that it is a crime and should be given quite a punishment.
20:47 June 26, 2012 by Gretl
It's hard for me to have an opinion, I don't have the equipment and all my children are girls. It is incredible to me, as a former conisseur of men, that as a middle aged American woman, I have only seen one natural man and did not have the opportunity to experiment regarding differences between natural and circumcised. I assume the way you came into the world would be best. However, there does seem to be some evidence regarding the health benefits to circumcision (see links), unlike the lack of any benefits to cutting off a female's clitoris (entire penis), and sewing her labia shut, blocking her urethra.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111006133022.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120312102148.htm
20:48 June 26, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@Tommy - go ahead and harangue your parents. Maybe imprison them. You sound like quite a man.
21:13 June 26, 2012 by John Geisheker
Our international physicians¦#39; organization has a single question for those parents wishing to circumcise their child for alleged religious reasons:

How do you know what religion --if any-- your child will want to adopt?

Permanently marking the child as belonging to YOUR religion is little different from branding cattle. For a human child, such marking is barbaric, primitive, and superstitious.

We do not own our children; they are given to us in trust, to protect and nourish. International law demands that children be protected from ¦#39;traditional practices harmful to children.¦#39;

Genital cutting is ethically indistinguishable from other ¦#39;traditional¦#39; practices inflicted on children: foot-binding, scarification, tattooing, earlobe stretching, child labor, and sexual slavery.

It is time such indices of child ownership are abandoned.

John Geisheker, J.D., LL.M.

Executive Director,

General Counsel,

DoctorsOpposingCircumcision.org

Seattle, Washington USA
21:17 June 26, 2012 by cheeba
@SchwabHallRocks, you are misinformed about relative birthrates in America vs Germany, The white Americans have the same negative birthrates as EU citizens, the robust growth of the American population is overwhelming concentrated in the Black and Latin American part of the US population where circumcision is quite rare. It is well known that the "medical community" in the US is dominated by a group that supports circumcision possibly for religious reasons, making it difficut to detirmine whether the "research" coming out of America is influenced by religious bias. As female circumcision is mostly limited to Africa, where very few "medical research" papers are generated it also draws legitimate questions about whether the discrepancy in "medical community" support for one genders circumcision versed the other is based on sound science.
21:32 June 26, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
Folks, That's what happens when you get someone from Seattle on the bulletin board.
21:33 June 26, 2012 by charlenej
Ear piercing is also a crime?
22:12 June 26, 2012 by wicky_nice
it seems most of you guys are completely unaware of the religion Islam. It is not as simple as weather circumcision should be allowed or not, it is about religion, Islam is or might is going to become the biggest religion in the world, and keep in mind "One don't consider as a Muslim if he don't have circumcision and according to Islamic teaching it is must responsibility of their parents"

Those who are saying it should be ban, just think abt it that you are snatching their right of practicing religion. I believe whatever you religion is, even if you dnt practice any religion , it is your right and one should have Independence.

Child are suppose to b custody of their parents and their parents have a right to choice whatever they think might be right for them. Its is natural right , even in animal, one cant give away it...
23:18 June 26, 2012 by nomadams
@SchwabHallRocks:

I am a woman and I, most certainly, do not prefer circumcision. I have been with men who are cut and men who are not and in the end, I prefer men in their natural state. Please don't speak for "what women prefer".
01:02 June 27, 2012 by gladwellmartin
If circumcizing boys or male infants is a voilation of their fundamental right and an exercise to fufill religious obligation then piercing the ears of a female infant or child just to put a metal or ring be it for beauty or for indentification purposes is also a clear voilation of the right of the girl child. I pray that someone really take this old fashioned judge on. If "A" practice is wrong then "B' oractise is also wrong because both A and B are for religious reasons. A started in Israel B started in Egypt.
01:13 June 27, 2012 by tommy2shoes
there is money involved if cutting or piercing is involved....follow the money...
08:51 June 27, 2012 by Clead
Without entering into an in-depth discussion circumcising boys or male infants, it seems to me, is certainly a big crime. To do that to girls (clitoris removal) is even worse. Stress sometimes makes the skin get swollen but soap and water is usually enough for healing the problem in a couple of days. If an adult makes the mistake of getting circumcised, in more or less normal circumstances, is up to him. But to do that to a small boy is terrible. I do not know if in special (singular) cases may be advisable in boys to do so. For example if the skin is more than the skin required to cover. But I do not know if this situation occurs. The skin to cover is required and not only for physical, but also for aesthetic reasons, I would say. There may be medical reasons to do that to an adult in extreme cases, probably. Very good that in Germany are reaching the right decision. Not to perform that. Cleanliness is what is required. Congratulations!!
08:56 June 27, 2012 by delvek
I am happy I am circumcised. Compared to friends who arent its much better. I also am happy that my parents had it done when I was a baby then as a young adult when I realized its better circumcised then not and have to go through major pain to get it done. I know many people who would get circumcised it it wasnt for the pain. I dont know anyone that wished they had a foreskin.

Probably some liberal freak woman who thinks she knows best. One day people will just have enough and reset all this crap through world war. Til then keep rocking!
09:05 June 27, 2012 by Clead
In addition to what I posted before. May be thousands of years ago they did not have soap and thorough cleanliness was a problem. In those days may be it was a good idea. I do not know if in the times of Jesus Christ they had good soap or not. They probably suffered a lot of stress. In that situation it is not difficult to imagine how difficult it was. Of course, a more thorough study of the subject matter can be made.
11:29 June 27, 2012 by Harrow
I am not circumcised, and thankful for it. Even though a year ago I had an "unfortunate incident" which resulted in a lot of blood, pain, and a few weeks of being unable to have sex. I find uncut penises more attractive, and easier to handle in sexual activities.

My boyfriend is not circumcised, but wishes he was. He is more hygiene-obsessed than me - and finds circumcised penises more attractive.

As we both wash our penises, being uncircumcised causes us no problems.

My nephew had a circumcision when he was 9 or 10, for medical reasons.

Saying "everyone likes it this way" is wrong. Saying "it is my religion" is wrong - it's not necessarily that of the baby. And in my opinion, making a cosmetic decision for your child is wrong. Even if you think it is more hygienic - better just teach your child how to wash themselves properly.

I found the discussion very interesting though, thanks all.
13:33 June 27, 2012 by schroeder
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:37 June 27, 2012 by mos101392
The æquot;NLY bad thing about this law is it may now force families to go to a witch doctor to have it done.

Why don't they just go to Isreal or Saudi Arabia for the procedure? I'm sure it is still legal in those countries.
15:08 June 27, 2012 by rw.ahmad
Few days, back I read a news article

"Zimbabwe parliamentarians are being circumcised in a bid to promote awareness about Anti- AID compain"

Nothing else is required to mention further...
17:19 June 27, 2012 by cheeba
I have trouble understanding how any of you equate ear piercing with circumcision. If you remove the earrings the small opening quickly heals. Circumcision whether male or female is a mutilation of the human body which is irreversible for a lifetime.
22:01 June 27, 2012 by legalusa
I always sympathize and admire the Jews, but on this one I do not think is different from female genital mutilation which is a savage, primitive, uncivilized assault on a human being. Religion cannot and should not justify such a barbarism.
23:55 June 27, 2012 by raandy
tommy goody 2 shoes, I am always dubious, skeptical, leery and scared when religion is involved in anything.
01:10 June 28, 2012 by MrPC
I hope that poor kid's photo is published in every newspaper around the world - his face says it all. And he gets a special hat just to persuade him to submit quietly. The very essence of child abuse. Just because something is traditional or religious doesn't mean it isn't abusive, just ask women. I wouldn't be surprised at all if that boy were to be extremely angry about this in a few years time.
10:10 June 28, 2012 by pro_choice
There is only one question here worth asking: Is it YOUR right to cut ANOTHER person's body without their consent? If you have concerns about health, hygiene, sex, religion, etc. talk to your child about it and have them make the decision for themselves. I hear claims that circumcision in adulthood might increase the chance of having more complications (I've never seen real statistics for this, and I won't trust religious sources), but let's assume that it's true. Still, is it your right to permanently change another person's body without their permission?

Those who think so seem to crave authority or some kind of power, they want the choice to be their own instead of the owner of the body part, either for their ego, or for their religion. It's the same with piercings and tattoos, I wouldn't force them on my child, it's their choice, because it's their body, not the body of the parent. It's also the child's choice to be a part of whichever religion they want, NOT the parents' choice. Indoctrinating your child means they didn't come to your religion by their own free will, they were brainwashed. You don't get to determine what another person does with their own body.
12:19 June 28, 2012 by n230099
Still, ask around and see how many men would "go back" if they could.
14:54 June 28, 2012 by cheeba
There are 40 million plus men in Germany, the large majority are not circumcised, if this is such a wonderful thing I wonder why virtually none of them elect to have the surgery when they are older and can make the choice for themselves? for that matter, show me an emancipated woman who has chosen to have this done to her.
16:10 June 28, 2012 by ayin
Why does the argument for religious freedom come up in this case?

If you want to make it, I should be able to demand that the use of psychedelic drugs is legalised for religious reasons.
00:43 June 29, 2012 by mg92aa
I was circumcised as a 5 year old. I was not asked, it was done to me. I have no sensation in the head of my penis at all! I feel violated and deprived. I have never been told WHY this mutilation was necessary. This was Assault occasioning Grievious Bodily Harm - I was an innocent who had every right to the protection of the law. Thank God the nation of Gothe had the strength to reach out and offerthat protection to its Chldren.

Should any believe that they have the right to inflict this agony on another:

In England and Wales, section 29(1)(a) of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (c.37) creates the distinct offence of racially or religiously aggravated wounding or infliction of bodily harm. This is an aggravated version of the offence under section 20.
01:26 June 29, 2012 by dadaista
This is one of the best decisions in the Western justice system. I'm an ex-muslim, I was circumcised at the age of 5. It was extremely painful for one thing (Not only the process, I couldn't walk for a week). Secondly, years later I learnt that what I lost was not just garbage skin but one of the most sensitive parts of my body, that whole mechanism of my penis was changed, my glans, which should be kept hot, humid, and most importantly, act as an internal organ most of the time save erection, intercourse and bath times, was stripped naked and left dry without protection (For many years it hurt for that reason, till it wasn't reacting to undercloth frictions anymore).

Now I hear that uncircumcised penis is more sensitive during intercourse. Do I know it? No. I don't know how it would feel if I was intact. You don't know what it is to have a bodypart when you have grown without it. I feel mutilated, amputated, deprived and violated for no reason.

Whoever says this is statism is pretty much ignorant. I'm an anarchist myself and support government intervention in this issue. Because power relations have various manifestations and the authority/oppression of families over children is not more justifiable than that of the state. We're talking about cutting off a child's bodypart here. There is no turning back.

Now people talking about democracy, how do you explain that, in any Islamic regime, my circumcision could be used as evidence that I was once a muslim, proving that now I'm an infidel, and infidels are put to death according to Sharia law? Let's be honest, we're not so much into freedom, we have never been. If that was the case, we wouldn't even contemplate to do this to our children.
05:35 June 29, 2012 by Kristy Alger
A child's body should never be used as a billboard for their parent aesthetic preferences or their religion. The decision to circumcise should be left to the person most affected by it: the child who owns the genitals. If as an informed consenting adult, the person wishes to cut off their foreskin, that is their choice. But nobody has the right to inflict this pain and deprivation of a healthy functioning body part on a non-consenting infant.
05:41 June 29, 2012 by Mr_BBQ
"The religious freedom of the parents and their right to educate their child would not be unacceptably compromised, if they were obliged to wait until the child could himself decide to be circumcised," said the court in its ruling.

'Nuff said.
07:11 June 29, 2012 by bmwhite41@hotmail.com
The ban on religious circumcision extends religious freedoms by transferring freedom to the owner of the foreskin, the child who may then decide for himself as an adult if prima facia wounding which is what circumcision is, is in his best interests.

To decide on the value of the foreskin one must read the foundational anatomy performed in Winnipeg, Canada by Dr. John Rippon Taylor published in the British Journal of Urology, Feb '96 and Jan '99 and the physiology by Dr. Morris Sorrells et al performed in California April 2007, BJU also.

As for aesthetic preference, the glans denuded by circumcision looks like battered shoe leather, there is nothing appealing about the circular scar, the absence of the delicate scent deprives the female brain of stimulation, and the prepuce enables gentle, satisfactory sex - Sex as Nature Intended it, O'Hara and O'Hara. The circumcised penis leaves women feeling scraped, jack-hammered, unsatisfied and planning ow to avoid sex with that partner in the future!

The fact that close to 200,000 men are engaged in foreskin restoration and an iPhone app, i4SkinHealth, exists to help track restoration progress should say just how much men enjoy being sexually injured by circumcision.
10:27 June 29, 2012 by Floriansamsel
I agree with the court: circumcision means bodily harm. You even don't have to look at the boy's face to imagine how much this intervention hurts and, in my opinion, it is very sarcastic to compare it with ear-piercing. But the worst is that they do this to children. How can loving parents do such a thing in the name of God and old traditions? It's disgusting! At least, they could wait until the children are of age. Then, they may decide for themselves.

Anyway, nobody will observe the court's decision. Also kosher butchering is forbidden in Germany - who cares?
06:28 June 30, 2012 by freddy7
I was circumcised as a young boy and its no major hassle, sure its sore for a couple of days. But there are benefits, having the foreskin collects alot of rubbish, your aiming is better when going for a pee, and you don't get your foreskin stuck in the zipper when doing your fly up.
12:44 June 30, 2012 by MissionaryKim
What a hot topic! We (as a people) are too obsessed with pain. What's wrong with a little pain? Pain is good for us. The Lord GOD commanded that all Jews be circumcised as a sign that they are set apart and belong to Him. In the New Testament, circumcision is no longer required and the writers explain that circumcisions was a picture of the heart and that we are to tear away our sinful selves and give our hearts to the Lord God. However, since GOD recommended circumcision, I still think it is a good idea. A little pain is good and the benefits to circumcision, whether proven or not are obvious. Why not? How DARE the German courts interfere with religious practices that really hurts no one and is practically beneficial. I predict this will be overturned.
15:47 June 30, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
Circumcision has a medical rather than a religious background. Men with foreskins are more liable to infect themselves during a sexual act, because remnants of such activities remain behind the skin. Many rituals in modern religions were based originally on facts which were true at a time when personal hygiene was not actual.

In the Europe of today, such personal hygiene is, for the majority of people, a normal part of everyday life. The reason for circumcision has, in most cases, therefore lost any value it had.

The understandable result is, that such inflicted injury on babies has become a crime, because it puts tradition before the individual rights of a person unable to protect himself. Those who still believe they can improve on the work of God by damaging the human body should be allowed to do so, but only on themselves! It is a question of what one places first: Human- or religious rights.
19:26 June 30, 2012 by realist1961
Personally, I sit here with my foreskin in one hand and a scalpel in another, anxiously awaiting the Local's opinion poll on whether a woman prefers a circumcised or uncircumcised man. I quiver in excitement.... well, some things are quivering more than others.
20:00 June 30, 2012 by Karl Tn
I am jewish and agree with this prohibition. Circumcision is simply repulsive. Let the boys decide for themselves!
12:46 July 2, 2012 by keeps71
Most posters are missing the point. It is NOT circumcision that is being banned - it is GENITAL MUTILATION. Removing body parts from children is among the worst forms of child abuse imaginable. This man knew what he was talking about: http://youtu.be/VuUaouTo2GQ. Genital mutilation should be made illegal everywhere. Well done Germany for taking the first step.
19:37 July 3, 2012 by ITAMAR
the question is where is the limite of religion freedom,prohibition by law can be effective just in certain countries over the world most probably Christian states, but there are hundrs of millions of people living in Moslems states in Africa ,Asia and 12 millions Jews all over the world,you can prohibite the circumcision by law in your country but not in other countries were the other people make the law.

It is something diffcult to fight against religiois believes and practice making by people for tousends of years.

Naturally every people decide at the end what is right or wrong in his own country as long as the country has a free and democratic elections,such laws will certainly sharp the religiois difference and the distance between the different religious groups and will resolve on a big international scale nothing
20:36 July 3, 2012 by narfmaster
Ya know, this is just so wrong. Where I come from, to not be circumsized is just disgusting and unclean. I settle down in Germany and have a kid and want to get him circumsized within a few days after birth so he doesn't remember it and it is just done and over. No, not possible. The law says the kid has to be 1 year old and FULLY sedated. Say what? Fully sedate a 1 year old??? Why not just let me fix the situation after he is born when it heals fast and doesn't really matter? At 1, he might actually remember the experience or have some issues..Full sedation is mentally ok for a kid at 1? I don't think so. Anyway, we called around to see if we could get some Jews around here to do it and they looked at us like we were crazy, as if we wanted to mutilate our child. That tells you what kind of Jews are left in Germany. Well, it seems it doesn't matter now because it is completely illegal. I'm not saying I agree with doing it to a kid who is old enough to walk and talk. That should be illegal. But keeping it from being done before it will really cause any kind of psychological damage is stupid, especially considering the health benefits of not having a foreskin. That point you can debate all you want, but people weren't going through the effort of circumsizing all of Africa to prevent AIDS for no reason.
18:24 July 4, 2012 by Thessalonian
The only medical condition justifying circumcision is known as phimosis. It is a condition where by the diameter of the foreskin is not large enough to allow its full retraction. A very small percentage of boys do actually need this surgical intervention. Hygiene was never an issue as everything which applies to men also applies to women. Who would have their nails removed because bacteria can accumulate under them? Furthermore, soap and water are indeed available in most of today's world and do in fact constitute an adequate solution to this problem, if seen as a problem that is. As far as the sensitivity issue is concerned, I know that I am a lot more sensitive than circumcised men. For example, I am not able to put on underwear with the foreskin retracted as it feels rather uncomfortable, like wearing sandpaper. As far as appearance is concerned, the circumcised penis does indeed look like dried leather. Subsequently, it follows that if it looks like leather, it probably feels that way also. If anyone tells you that the infant does not suffer from this surgery, he/she is lying. As a matter of fact, circumcised infants do suffer and cry for many days after the surgery every time they urinate due to the burning and stinging caused by the ammonia in the urine. My wife and I agreed not have our son circumcised. A decision we and he never regretted. The physician was rather disappointed as he was not able to further milk the medical cash cow known as "circumcision for hygienic reasons". Regards
20:55 July 4, 2012 by ITAMAR
Narfmaster

Well ,I do understand what you are saying, it will not stop people to practice their believes and religion, then people will go abroad and do it there,can the state controll these people?
01:44 July 5, 2012 by cheeba
I think it is very wrong to allow mutilation just because someone determined to do it to their children will jump over the border and have the deed done there. so someone thinks a particular body part is disgusting and unclean? One can use this same stupid argument to legalize honor killings. If a father thinks his daughters behavior is "disgusting and unclean" he can.take her for a week long "family vacation" in Saudi Arabia, where those things are practiced with impunity. in fact, the current King Abdullah's older brother had his daughter beheaded in the street there for dating a European boy some years ago.
13:03 July 5, 2012 by ValP
I've been with both (I am a woman if you are wondering). And by that I mean not just one of each, but several. Doesn't make any difference to me. If I love the man, I love his penis. I never noticed any difference in sensitivity or hygiene either (I guess, I just normally go for healthy and clean men). Since almost all white men in the States are circumcized and everyone is fine with that, and almost no one is circumcized in Europe, and everyone is fine with that, too, what's the problem???
13:40 July 5, 2012 by cheeba
@ValP,

don't be so sure all the white men in the states is so fine with this practice. it is becoming less common as people become better educated about the issue, and referendums are even organized in the more progressive cities such as San Francisco and Santa Monica to ban the practice.

if it were your own flesh being slashed you might think twice. many women in Africa are circumsized, but almost none in Europe. do we say "live and let live" in that case? of course not.
19:09 July 5, 2012 by ITAMAR
Well

Everybody got its own opinion in that matter,but no group will be able to force his opinion on the other group by laws.

I do not think that you can with police, judge and court,"convince" people to give up their traditions and religion rules ,it never worked in the past and it will not work in the future, Yes you can make the laws in your own home land,and the conflicts among the different religious groups will be sharper.
17:51 July 6, 2012 by yonnie
Yes this should be a criminal assault! If you leave the country and commit a crime, can you be charged for the crime? I think they should allow mutilated children to press charges and/or sue for damages.
22:53 July 6, 2012 by ITAMAR
Yonnie

The law is limited to Germany,if you are citizen of another country where the practise is authorizzed and you live in that country nobody can sue you.

now as a phisician I will give you the exact medical defintion of mutilation:"an organ mutilation is a situation in which an organ loss completly its form and function because of operation or traumatic event"

In circumcision just a thin foreskin external to glans is removed without any shaft deformation or functioning insult.

During the last 64 years there was no single case in Israel where a child who grew up sued his parents because of circumcision,so in our land you are in those 2% of the parents who oppose this practise and do not practise it,

by the way if you were born to a Jewish mother you are authomticly Jew even if you converted to Christianity, not circumsized or eat pig,

90 percent of the population in Israel are not religious and 10 percent are religious,

97 percent of the population do keep the tradition of circumcision.

So if a Jew who live in Germany risk a jail because of you decided that circumcision is a criminal act -his place is in Israel,this was specialy true after 1945.
00:05 July 7, 2012 by cheeba
@ITAMAR,

your statement that circumcision causes "no functioning insult". Is hotly contested as so many comments here and all over the web demonstrate.

the male penis has multiple functions, including urinating and providing sexual pleasure.

There are many who are convinced that circumcision does ruin sex for the victim for a lifetime. not all agree, but clearly there is no consensus.

allowing the victim to file civil suits or press criminal charges when he or she reaches adulthood is an interesting idea. not just against the parent but also against Doctors or Mohels who collude in the attack.
10:30 July 7, 2012 by ITAMAR
Cheeba

Well,

As a Physician I do not know about the linkeage between circumcision and sex function, I admite that as a family doctor here I have not met such problem,and I work more then 20 years, but I promise you I will check if there are articles in the New England Journal of Medicine or by the American Urology Society.

At least I can testify that my wife and I have not met such difficulties and we are married for many years and happy about our life.

As far as I know I can not recall one case in Israel in which a son sued his parents because of the circumcision.

In Israel you can sue who ever you want even your parents or the doctors or the mohel.

In August 1989 an Israeli organisation who oppose the circumcision is appealed to the Suprime Court in Jerusalem in order to stop the circumcision by law, the appeal was rejected, the court replied that the circumcision in Israel is a religious ritual and not a medical operation, exactly as ear piercing or tatuating, just in case of medical operation you need the consent of the Patient or in our case the parents.The court added that Israel was established on the Jewish values and traditions as a Jewish state,the court leave the parents the decision if to practice the cirumcision or not.

Cheeba I must be honest with you ,it was not easy to be present in the room when it was done,I remember that my wife left the room because she could not

stand it and it was very very diffuclt to me ,

I told her afterwards that the next time we are going to hospidal and making a general Anaeshesia.

anyway thank you for your comments .
15:21 July 7, 2012 by Alanm
The dark ages practice, should have been banned long time ago!
16:02 July 7, 2012 by cheeba
So many of the circumcised med who defend the practice write that they have had no problem or no difficulties. When you speak of sexual pleasure these men normally have no way to compare their experience to what might have been, had this not been done to them.

It is true that nearly all of these men can still achieve erections, experience some pleasure and spawn children.

That said, the removal of thousands of nerves that exist to provide pleasure reduces the experience, In many cases by a tremendous amount.

If you cut off two fingers from your hand, the hand is still useful, you can still write a letter or steer your car, but you would surely be better off with all five digits intact.

As for the argument that this has been part of Jewish culture since biblical times, many other old traditions have been put aside, such as stoning a new bride to death if she is found out not to be a virgin on the wedding night.
18:34 July 7, 2012 by ITAMAR
Alanm

I understand your anger,for you that is old dark practice which has to be banned.

for hunders of milions of people it is an old practice which is done because of religious reason with full authorizzation of the states where they live,then you may have problems with the governments who permit it, and then we pass to international question how much one country can interfer with the internal affairs of other one.naturly that in your country you make the laws as you wish.

Cheeba

thanks I do understand what you write and mean,afternoon I did some "homework" and read scientific articles ,the debate is there, in some research the Physicians found erection problem and sexsual unsatisfactory in adults who passesd circumcision, but that research were few and limited to adult circumcision not to infant. but the declaration"the circumsized person can not compare his sexual satisfaction to what could be if he would not pass that procedure" come through the research not true, as most research took 2 groups: circumsized men and non circumsized men and compared their sexsual satisfaction by feeling a questionary which was the same to two groups , in the majority of the cases there wasno difference in the sexual satisfaction or erection. between the 2 groups.
17:04 July 8, 2012 by hinkypunk
I guess the women are torn about this. As a women, I've been with both, and I've been sooo disappointed when I find out a guy is not circumsized. As a german-american, I think we tend to be cleaner than our european counterparts. I know I'm going to get beaten up for saying it. And I'm not talking about households! I'm talking about our bodies! But from personal experience, it's true. European german men are just not as clean as American men. My man works in construction and still manages to be clean as can be. Go ahead and beat me up, both my parents are german but I was raised in the us. I can not stand a cheesy foul one! haha
20:22 July 8, 2012 by Sessie
Circumcision (unless medically unnecessary) is brutality. I am so impressed with Germany for taking this stand. People should be ashamed of themselves for allowing their young boys to be circumcised. Often, people spend more time deciding which shoes to purchase off the internet then they do researching whether or not they should circumcise their child.

I don't think the right to 'cut' a child should be given to any religion.

If the boy wants to do it at 18, that's his choice and I have no problem with it.
13:46 July 12, 2012 by Insel-Affe
I'm nearly 50 and was recently circumcised. Even though that was for medical reasons, it always bothered me to have a smelly, ugly, moist lump of skin hanging around - so it'll be no surprise to hear that I am happy about having had the cut. I always thought that any sons of mine would be circumcised. But now the question is, @Sassie, what 18-year old boy would volunteer for a painful op that will make him sexually inactive for weeks or even months after? Get it done at a young age, I say. But for heaven's sake *with* an anasthetic!
15:05 July 12, 2012 by ebbelwoiguy
@Insel Affe: you had the choice as an adult, but you deny that to your sons?

Adults sometimes have to make literally painful choices for themselves, with the emphasis on "themselves". Pre emptive surgery on minors for a set of flimsy excuses, or a religion is vicious.

Ban all elective surgery on minors; that goes for branding and tattoos as well. Parents breaking it should lose all custody and face some lengthy prison time.
21:08 July 12, 2012 by cheeba
If you allow the male circumcision, who is to say what naturally comes next. I just read this article from Egypt.

"Despite the 1996 ban on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Egypt, the issue continues to be a divisive one, especially amid fears that the ban could be reversed under an Islamist government.

Many Egyptians find it difficult to accept the issue is a pressing one and deny the alarmingly high statistics, like one by the United Nations International Children¦#39;s Emergency Fund (UNIFC) which states that 91 percent of women are circumcised in the country.

Updated in January 2012, the UNIFC global databases are grounded on Demographic Health Surveys, Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys and other national surveys collected from 2002 and 2008.

With the toppling of the Egyptian regime and the Islamists escaping the grip of Hosni Mubarak¦#39;s iron fist, talk of reversing the 1996 ban based on religious grounds has resurfaced.

Amid the rising speculations that FGM would be legalized in Egypt, the Freedom and Justice Party was accused in May of sending a large medical convoy into the village of Abu Aziz in the Minya governorate, south of Cairo which offered to perform the operation for as little as 30 Egyptian pounds ($4.90)."

There you have it.
21:14 July 12, 2012 by BierKerl
The bottom line is that the ONLY person who has the right to make the decision of whether or not to circumcise a healthy penis is the individual himself.

No other man or woman has the right to make that irrevocable decision for him. No religious or cultural excuse is reason enough to take that choice away from him.
04:05 July 13, 2012 by smitsch1949
Circumcision is completely unnecessary! It should be illegal!
16:01 July 13, 2012 by ITAMAR
The court in Germany public its decision about circumcision.

Now it is up to the Jews there to take a decision,they can not change the country in which they live, they are minority, in any case and the majority is against the circumcision.

for those who wish to live their Jewish life the solution is the Jewish state.

for those who wish to stay in exile they must adapt to the rules of the host country.

Israel
16:13 July 13, 2012 by Legal E
You follow the laws of the land you live in. End of story, if you do not like said laws, then that is a choice of ones own to make. And Germany has banned it. As per the laws, then appeal is the next step.
17:55 July 13, 2012 by Sessie
@Insel-Affe If' it's a "smelly, ugly, moist lump of skin hanging around..." maybe you should have washed it properly. The foreskin has a purpose, it's there to protect the penis.

I am thrilled at Germany's decision!! Circumcision is violent, it's dangerous, children actually die every year from the procedure. If someone wants to cut their own penis at 18 or 50 that's their choice. Parents shouldn't have the right to choose for them. Way to go Germany!
18:53 July 13, 2012 by Peter Helenius
Offcourse it´s a dirty crime. Everyone in entiteld for the integrity of his own body. This also apllies to children. It would be very very good if Germany soon will pass laws to get this anachronistic habit punishable.

Parents which circumsize their childs should be put out of parental control for the rest of their lives.
01:11 July 14, 2012 by shiraz
May Germany and any nation that emulates Germany be blessed for this courageous and virtuous act.

As for those who support genital mutilation of children - we hope their ways come to an end.
20:02 July 17, 2012 by cheeba
In China it is a deeply ingrained custom to bind the feet of girls from the youngest age to keep them very small, women with large feet are considered freaks and are outcast. Germany should be consistent, if the permit circumcision for Muslim and Jewish people, they should also pass a law permitting this practice among immigrants from China. The custom is more than four thousand years old.
00:43 July 18, 2012 by narfmaster
@cheeba - I'm not sure where you are getting this idea that Chinese bind their feet. The practice was outlawed there in 1912.

There should definitely be some distinction made between male and female circumcision. Female circumcision was invented as a tool to subjugate women. Male circumcision was invented for the purposes of hygiene. It is like comparing whips and soap.

@Peter Helenius - By your same logic, parents who let their kids eat McDonalds or drink cola should also have their children taken away. Those two things are much worse for a boy than circumcision, which can lower his chances of getting AIDS.

The thing that bothers me about this thread is that everyone says the child can choose when he gets older. But that's not a valid argument. The older the male when the circumcision is done, the greater the chances for complications, both physical and mental.

This ruling is really about the majority telling the minority what they can do with their kids. Worse, the ruling is based on pain from a one time event, with the result being a body enhancement. That's like outlawing vaccinations. Or braces. If I want to get my kid vaccinations or braces and you don't like it, well, get lost! It's my kid we are talking about, not yours. If I want my kid to be healthier and better looking, why not? Or are we literally talking about a case of penis envy?
18:29 July 18, 2012 by ebbelwoiguy
narfmaster: The foreskin is not a birth defect or something dirty and dangerous. It doesn't need fixing. Don't fiddle with what isn't yours.

Circumcision was used by the Egyptians to mark Hebrew slaves, who then took it as as identity badge. Slavery counts as subjugation.

Parents do not have unconditional power to do whatever to their kids. A diet exclusively of junk food is indeed neglect.

The HIV study in Africa was debunked.

You said before you wanted to do this before he's old enough to remember (or protest in any way you should admit). That's called doing it on the sly.

Your son will live his life and in his generation, not yours. You imposing your view of what's "better looking" on him is mindless and arrogant. That's an understatement.
21:21 July 18, 2012 by Landmine
Old new Editors, lets move on here can we? Surely the worlds news has not stopped occurring.....
19:02 July 24, 2012 by narfmaster
@ebbelwoiguy: Circumcision is an act of hygiene. That was why it was invented. I want what is best for my kid. You don't.

The idea of Egyptians circumcising Jews to mark them as slaves is fantastical and laughable. If you want to mark someone, you do it where you can see the mark. And no, people in Egypt didn't run around without something covering their privates. On the contrary, Egyptians circumcised themselves and invented the practice, at least according to Wikipedia.

Parents decide what happens to their kids and the law protects these children when there is clear neglect. The fact that we can have a debate about circumcision means it is not clear at all.

The HIV study was not debunked! Do a search for HIV and circumcision in Google and you will see pages and pages of links. I see a link on the Lancet from 2007 where they did a study in Rakai, Uganda from 2007. I quote:

"HIV incidence was lower in the intervention group than it was in the control group in all sociodemographic, behavioural, and sexually transmitted disease symptom subgroups. Moderate or severe adverse events occurred in 84 (3·6%) circumcisions; all resolved with treatment. Behaviours were much the same in both groups during follow-up."

Scientific American has an article from 2010. The title is:

Clean-Cut: Study Finds Circumcision Helps Prevent HIV and Other Infections

From the article:

"Families of anaerobic bacteria, which are unable to grow in the presence of oxygen, are abundant before circumcision but nearly disappear after the procedure. The researchers suspect that in uncircumcised men, these bacteria may provoke inflammation in the genitalia, thereby improving the chances that immune cells will be in the vicinity for HIV viruses to infect."

This brings us back to hygiene and what is best for the child. You obviously don't know. However, I would never infringe on your right to not have your child circumcised, as it is your child, not mine. Yet you have no problem doing that to me. What gives you this right?

As regards your "doing it on the sly", it is simply a matter of fact that an operation done early will have fewer complications. Getting a medical procedure done before the pain means anything is the way to do it. I am circumcised and am quite glad it happened and before I can remember. It was the right thing to do. I'm more concerned my kid will be upset that I didn't do it when he was young because the risks and pain are much greater later.

You say a bunch of things without backing it up with facts. THAT is mindless and arrogant. We can't really have a discussion with emotion being used in place of reasoning and facts.
17:13 July 25, 2012 by scottfree
Any time God tells me to cut you with a knife would be the right time for the courts and police to step in a stop me. If we were talking about little girls, there would be no objections to banning circumcision by any normal, sane westerner. It is superstition and antiquated practice that allows humans to mutilate another because God told them to. Sorry, the Jews are just wrong. They should stop this arcane barbarity.
17:55 July 25, 2012 by ITAMAR
scottfree

every country has the right to make its own laws.

we have our tradition, you call it barbarity it is your right to think and say what you wish.

you can limit the Jews in practising their religion in your countries,so and so it was allways the same situation in Europe for generations,once less and other times more.

In our country we shell practice our religion without external limitions.
16:29 July 26, 2012 by ebbelwoiguy
narfmaster: Time for the "adamant father syndrome". Dad's cut..and is determined not to allow his son to go through life with complete genitalia either. Dad grasps at every straw to underpin his impulse.

The study was debunked. As was the penile cancer myth and several more.

http://guggiedaly.blogspot.de/2011/02/circumcision-increases-risk-of.html

Your son will have access to more info that you ever had, and is more likely to come down on you for the unnecessary surgery imposed on him.

Yet you complain about infringing on rights. If your neighbors had a daughter and carried out a little snipping at home, hopefully you would interfere. This might come as a shock, but your child isn't your property.

Here are some of the benefits of keeping him in one piece:

http://www.drmomma.org/2009/09/functions-of-foreskin-purposes-of.html
21:23 July 26, 2012 by Mrs.Samar
Salam.

www.who.int/entity/reproductivehealth/topics/rtis/male_circumcision/en/ - 23k

(World Health Organisation says that male circumcisions prevent HIV !)

So banning circumcisions in Germany might increase your number of HIV cases! Make a choice !

European Convention on Human Rights allows freedom of religion.

Welcome Islam in the western society, investigate it !
20:52 July 27, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Nothing wrong with circumcision if it is needed and given by choice. I would also hate if my teeth were pulled without my concent and without annestetic.
18:57 July 30, 2012 by cheeba
Mrs Samar,

The World Health Organization is also behind the "breast is best" campaign pressuring new mothers to practice breast feeding, and even trying to restrict access to infant formula to poor mothers.

Breast feeding by HIV positive mothers is a major cause of HIV in newborns!

The WHO is very stubborn, but not always right!
19:59 July 30, 2012 by friedenstempel
There are no "communities" in Germany with extra laws. There is only one law and one population. And there is a tradition of enlightenment which we ought to take seriously. If certain migrants carry their ancient traditions, fine. That shows why they are not members of German society and its enlightened tradition yet but stuck in the middle ages. German muslims don't circumcise.
20:05 July 31, 2012 by ITAMAR
Every country has the right to make the laws it believes in.

those minorities who live in the country must respect the law.

The Jews who wish to keep their religion got an alternative and they know it

Israel
21:19 August 3, 2012 by Angstfree18
First of all Circumcision is a SPIRITUAL RELGIOUS MANDATE not a physical issue. EVERY JEWISH NEWBORN AT 8 days have enjoyed endured this since the beginning of monotheism...none of them remember or complain about this little at that point (8 days) tiny piece of skin taken off...they are sedated in a nonmedical traditional way and they do not cry or do so for a brief moment, that's it.

I have not heard a single adult male, child, or teen for that matter ever not once complain about their state or memory of circumcision. This is a primary right of parents to perform this essential and central religious act for their son and family...this was decreed by G-D and no government or court has any single right to attempt to interfere...it ABSURD & offensive to think that a court would mandate something that is BIBLICAL...you would need to be a TORAH SCHOLAR to suggest this. This is the essential covenant of a Jewish male with G-D. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS if you don't understand or like it. How would you like it mandated that children or adults couldn't eat that damn cracker or drink wine in churches because some of us think that is unhealthy? Aren't innoculations child abuse...I know boys who were traumatized by that not by circumcision...ive been traumatized when I was seven by my dentist who claimed I had 14 cavities...not by my circumcision. It is very traumatic and abusive to be told it may be illegal to practice your beloved religion and complete your relationship with G-D or follow his commandments within your religion. This notion is torturous one and a major violation of a person's freedom to choose their destiny and the destiny of their children.
21:37 August 3, 2012 by cheeba
@angstfree18;

You say;

"none of them remember or complain about this little at that point (8 days) tiny piece of skin taken off"

You are simply wrong here, plenty of circumcised men do complain about it. The fact is most of the anti circumcision activists in America are Jewish.

Those cities in America that are gearing up for anti circumcision referendums are all heavily Jewish, like Santa Monica California.
22:39 August 3, 2012 by ITAMAR
Cheeba

Every country has the right to make its own laws.

"none of them remember or complain about this little at that point (8 days) tiny piece of skin taken off""-I do agree with that, that is a fact , I can testify on myself and also my brother can say that we remember nothing from that circumcision.

Yes that is true also in Israel there is a small group of Jews who are against circumcision, they created a group and also appealed to the Suprime court to obbligate the government to interfer in that tadition but their appeal was rejected.

Nobody here force them to circumcise their kids , if you chose not do it you simply do not do it, the government says that at least 2% of the population did not circumsize its kids from the same reasons you posted before, yet 98% do continue with that procedure , in our land we use to say:"live and do not bother the other to live after their traditions" there are Moslems,Druse,Christians,Orthodox Jews ,seculare Jews ,reformist Jews, Bahai religion ,Cherques ,Beduinen ecc, every group live after his tradition the state does not tell you what you should believe or do and respect all traditions of all groups , if you start violating tradition of one group that will cause caus and fight among all the other groups and that is the last thing we need in such delicate situation in our country, I can not think what will happen if we shell obbligate all moslems and orthodox Jews not to make circumcision by law, it means to open a religion conflict inside the country and instability

I
00:41 August 4, 2012 by cheeba
I was not suggesting anyone would remember pain from a minor surgery performed wher they were 8 days old but rather that there are numerous men who complain later in life that it was done to them. I don't think this is something people talk about much in public, it is embarrasing, the movement seems to have taken off more because people can now express themselves anonomously on the internet.
12:32 August 4, 2012 by ITAMAR
Well,I would be curious to know how many young people in Israel complain about that procedure,I guess the group who opposed it here can invest in annonimus national inquiry in which every Jew or moslem from 18 years will answer a questionary :"how do you feel and how much do you agree with being circumsized,takening in account that no one got your permision when you were baby...

The results can be analizzed both for Jews and Moslems and then get known on public, I guess it might be important for any future legislation..

At least I know what my answer will be and also my brothers'view.
15:14 August 4, 2012 by cheeba
When one thinks about this, the Jewish tradition is more humane than how the Muslims do it, at age 8 years a child already has a memory and can feel and remember the pain and yet is not emancipated, from parents and has no more choice than the 8 day old baby, if I was required to choose between only those two methods I would say better to do this to a baby, just look at that child's face at the top of this article. Others have commented here also that there are fewer medical complications for a baby also.
15:52 August 4, 2012 by ITAMAR
Well Cheeba time is change I am 57 year old and my 16 year boy does not accept part of my way of thinking, he belong to high tec computers'sociaty ,I still enjoy John Lenon and the Beatles, once it was not permitted for Jews to set fire on Saterday because 3000 years ago it was an hard work to set fire ,today the religious people have electronical computerized kitschen which control the light in house and operate an automatic kitschen with saterday clock, so they should not "touch" the bottom of the light on Saterday , of course you may argue with those Orthodox Jews and say just touching the bottom oes not mean working on Saterday but the affair is so much complicated that even my fother who was born in 1913 could not give me a good explanation for all that.

Have a good weekend
14:18 August 5, 2012 by otarazan
Hi, i am not a religious person and i had a foreskin problem so doctors recommended to circumcise. My parents were waiting my brother to grove up but after doctors recommendation we had the operation.After operation i feel more comfartable. For example, when i had foreskin, little dust used to got inside of foreskin so i had to pay more attention in the shower.Also lots of my friends had this operation and they were laughing at me when they learn i hadnt yet.So i kinda wanted this operation.My wife is christian and even our kids decides to be christian i want them to circumcise for their healty
16:28 August 10, 2012 by waytotgermany
It simply says you can beautify your penis by shaping more and more :) and may be it has some hygenie help ,but doesnt stop on the fact when done other than medical reasons.

its your penis not even your ears or nose which will get the skin adjusted when not wore for few years..Also parents have no rights to cut their sons penis off just for the sake that "women like it that way" which will look some times uglier on the penis around..( i experience because i am circumcised for medical reasons).

Also people living must be morever adjusted to the host country rather than brining all the same old religious practices (which doesnot hurt other people)all the way to germany.

Finally when something happens to the child,its said this happened in "Germany"..
20:57 August 10, 2012 by ITAMAR
"Also people living must be morever adjusted to the host country"

Well I do agree with that,and just with that.
03:51 August 15, 2012 by olog-hai
Could someone please archive this article, never mind get rid of that annoying pic associated with it whose intent is to evoke a prejudiced emotional reaction?? It's over a month old.
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