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Muslims, Jews denounce circumcision ruling
Photo: DPA

Muslims, Jews denounce circumcision ruling

Published: 27 Jun 2012 12:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Jun 2012 12:55 GMT+02:00

"I feel the decision is discriminatory and counters efforts to promote integration," said Ali Demir, the chairman of the Islamic Religious Community.

"This legal ruling is an outrageous and insensitive act," said Central Council of Jews in Germany President Dieter Graumann in a statement.

The Jewish council called the ruling an “unprecedented and dramatic infringement of the rights of self determination for religious communities.”

The District Court in Cologne ruled on Monday that non-medical circumcision was a "serious and irreversible interference in the integrity of the human body.”

The ruling was made on an appeal by the prosecutor of a case involving a Muslim doctor who performed a circumcision on a four-year-old boy.

The court's logic was that the young child’s right to physical integrity had primacy over those of his parents to practice their religion.

Both Graumann and Demir rejected that, saying the ruling was a discriminatory and unfair intrusion into their religious freedom.

"This is a harmless procedure that has thousands of years of tradition and a high symbolic value," Demir said in a statement.

He also argued that there were advantages of circumcision in reducing the transfer of diseases. He said forbidding the practice would do nothing to stop it.

"We'll end up with circumcision tourism in neighbouring countries," he said.

Echoing his Muslim colleague, Graumann said: "Circumcision of newborn boys is an integral part of the Jewish religion and has been practiced worldwide for thousands of years. This religious right is respected in every country of the world."

Jewish boys are typically circumcised when they are eight days old, providing the child is healthy. Muslim boys are usually circumcised much later.

Graumann called on the German parliament to create a legal framework to ensure freedom of religious practice.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:39 June 27, 2012 by mos101392
The ONLY 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.
14:06 June 27, 2012 by schroeder
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:07 June 27, 2012 by romber58
Human beings are made in the image of god?

"Oh no they,re not;we need to hack away at the genitals of new.borns"

Just another proof of what nornally intelligent and good people are capable of if they believe that god has told them what to do.

A more disgusting example of the brainwashing by religion I have yet to discover.
14:32 June 27, 2012 by schroeder
SHAME ON YOUR "THE LOCAL" for deleted my post....

If "freedom of press" is true then "freedom to express" is also by right falls into it.

Shame on you "THE LOCAL" all i said was if Circumcision is crime then abortion is a much greater crime.
14:39 June 27, 2012 by blackboot11
".... and has been practiced worldwide for thousands of years."

So have many other daft traditions, that does not make them right.

This religious extremism practiced on young boys, and girls, is deplorable.
14:42 June 27, 2012 by schroeder
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
15:26 June 27, 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!
15:37 June 27, 2012 by BR549
I am not surprised by this ruling, especially after it was ruled dog tails could no longer be docked and ears no longer altered / cut. Sheesh, if they rule on dogs like that, why be surprised about the ruling on boys?

But, parents will just jump over a border to get it done. I will cost a little extra time and money, but they will do it. That is what a lot of dog owners do, just go to France.

All being said, this procedure was common in my generation and done to me. I have never experienced any of the "hinderances" as outlined in the comment above by JackieNO.
16:08 June 27, 2012 by Human Rights Abuse
Just as female circumcision (genital mutilation) is a despicable atrocity intended to permanently reduce the sexual sensation of women, so too, male circumcision is nothing but penile-sexual reduction surgery (genital mutilation) intended to permanently reduce the sexual sensation/function of men. Circumcision under false pretences is a human rights¦#39; violation. Non-therapeutic circumcision of children is criminal sexual assault and child abuse!

http://www.cirp.org/library/sex_function/
16:09 June 27, 2012 by romber58
@BR549

Sheesh, if they rule on dogs like that, why be surprised about the ruling on boys?

Strange that you didnt mention any mutilation of dog genitals in your comparison.

,but seem to think that cutting the foreskin of a boy or the clitoris of a girl is comparable,

And anyway ,how do you know what you are missing as by your own admission you were mutilated in that department before you even knew that you had that department....
16:32 June 27, 2012 by Edin
Why do people write comments just for sake of it, can you at least read something on the topic before you do it???

From all the given comments in last couple of days, one can conclude:

Everyone who wrote a comment who actually had it done said they are happy with it, incuding the spouses of those. There are also some of those who haven't done it but think they should have, because of comnplications they had. And somehow only ones complaining about it and which are strongly opposing it are those who actually haven't done it. It really stinks of anti-semitism and racism...

Those intentionally mixing the male and female circumcision and call it mutillation are obvious cases of those who haven't had it done, and those doing it not intentionally are just ignorant and shallow.
16:34 June 27, 2012 by green idea factory
I am Jewish but would never ever support this in my own boy-children -- I would never have children with a woman who want to circumcise our son.

This is simply a stupid and barbaric ritual, not needed for hygiene or anything else.
16:36 June 27, 2012 by BR549
@romber58

Your argument is really not clear to me. Either you have mistaken my point, are untra-liberal and a little emotional on the topic or needing an English course in a bad way.

I never stated whether the "procedure" is write or wrong. I only stated that the court ruling does not surprise me and that I have experienced none of the "physical limitations" decribed in another comment.
16:37 June 27, 2012 by TheWonderer
There are pros and cons for that verdict:

But when in Germany, please obey German laws - just as we obey the Koran when in Arab states or the Thora when in Israel.

Just because sth. is written in the Bible (or any other book) it is not automatically right - especially as even within the Bible things have changed over times.

Our religions are not that different (go to Andalusia, where all three are practised in peaceful co-existence since centuries!) and our (common) God is a loving and caring one - so why injure sb.?

Circumcision was right a few hundred years ago under different hygienic conditions, but it is no more automatically these days. Where medically needed - fine. Where not indicated - a no go.

Furthermore - how can we fight the mutilation of girls if we delare boys to be okay?

But one thing is nice: Having German Muslims and Jews speak with one voice is a good start for the future... ;-) After all, there is much more we have in common than what parts us.

TheWonderer
16:41 June 27, 2012 by MrPC
This is not rocket science, of course it should be against the law to disfigure your children for your religious beliefs or any other reason. The fact that its a tradition among some religious sects should have no bearing on whether circumcision is acceptable in the modern era. This action by the court is long overdue and will hopefully serve as a precedent for other jurisdictions in the world.
16:47 June 27, 2012 by religionisavirus
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:21 June 27, 2012 by laurencelewis
"The Jewish council called the ruling an ¦quot;unprecedented and dramatic infringement of the rights of self determination for religious communities.¦quot;

As dramatic an infringement on the rights of self determination as on the rights of the child in question? A child which has been indoctrinated into a religion which advocates his mutilation before he is able to self-determine anything!

The fact that such blatant hypocrisy is evident in public statements demonstrates the extent of the delusion these 'communities' suffer.

How can it be seen that a court trying to protect a child is anything but a good thing? Oh wait, religious fervour, and appeals to tradition, that's how.
19:14 June 27, 2012 by romber58
@BR549

Admittedly it is a cheap and easy comment from me, but having read your last comment, it seems to me that you are the one in need of a spelling and grammar course.

The bottom line is ...is this practice of genital mutilation an order from god or is it a man made?

As there is no evidence that an invisible friend exists who decides or cares how much skin my penis should have and why,It is blatently obvious that this is all man-made rubbish designed to have power over people and to keep them under control, through a fear of hell or some such insanity,and to have the say and the mind -control in the real world of here and now . I am damned sure that there are many politicians would just love to be able to exercise power and minds in the same way as priests and mullahs do..
20:22 June 27, 2012 by SchwabHallRocks
@Edin...

Thank you for a sparkling and succint contribution.

It stands amongst the blather by those who are probably also the holocaust deniers, israel-is-worse-than-syria folks, etc.

@Schroeder...

Do not focus too much on the inconsistencies in people and their governments; it will make you insane. Obviously it is bizarre that:

- One can legally kill a fetus but not a goose or a deer.

- Israel is declared the root of all evil but Iran, Syria, Sudan are to be emulated and given seats on the Human Rights Committee at the UN.

- etc.
22:49 June 27, 2012 by Giliath
Comment: I have a question for BR549 and any who proclaim things like "it was commonly done, it was done to me, I have had no trouble with it".

If you were circumcised as a baby, therefore have no basis for comparison of experiences of being both circumcised and not, how can you say you "...have never experienced any of the "hinderances" as outlined in the comment above by JackieNO." How do you know?

Being circumcised as a baby does not allow a man to determine what he wants for himself later in life. There is no going back, even if a man decides at some point not to follow the religious teachings of his parents.

Just because it is tradition, or "has always been done that way", does not mean it is above re-examination when we have better evidence and understanding that it is, in fact, a barbaric practice.

There is scientific proof of the differences, even though circumcision does not make men sexually unable to function. But I realise that, for many, such empirical evidence is overruled by religious teachings and tradition.
00:43 June 28, 2012 by catjones
BR549....... 'needing an English course in a bad way.

I never stated whether the "procedure" is write or wrong. '

I believe it is ' I never stated whether the "procedure" is Writ or wrong'
07:13 June 28, 2012 by rwk
Anyone who has seen my posts her should know I am not Islamist. But, I think this is horrible. Circumcision is also a common practice in many places and in many religions, and for a good reason - it promotes health. Yes, the evidence is scant but it is overpowering the evidence that it is harmful or painful, if done at an early age. i must admit, however, that i am biased - I am a circumcised Christian.
10:17 June 28, 2012 by mobaisch
Some guys here just oppose it because people with islamists do it. I am not saying all, but some! and that is really weird! What if an islamist in future did something "good" will you denounce it and announce that "good" thing to be "horrible"?
10:23 June 28, 2012 by MattyB
But feel free to keep killing your own children through abortion.....

Where's a child's rights in that case?
11:13 June 28, 2012 by ebbelwoiguy
If this practice was performed on pets or farm animals the owner would see a courtroom soon enough. The same stack of flimsy excuses about cleanliness and disease apply even better to animals than to humans.

So many people see fit to remove forbidden body parts from others without medical reason. I hope this legal decision stands and is extended to ALL cases of elective surgery on minors.

A hint to the nazi baiters: the nazis were never in the business of protecting people, least of all Jews. This decision protects children who happen to be born to Jewish parents. After all, the child will some day be an adult and determine his beliefs. That is sacrosanct, even and especially from one's very own parents.

(and a little hint for those wanting to drag abortion into this issue: it is irrelevant. Case in point: the RC church has managed to oppose both abortion and circumcision, for centuries)
18:21 June 28, 2012 by laurencelewis
@SchwabHallRocks and @Edin

Sorry guys. Nope. You are the ones suffering the selection bias. Of course people commenting in support of circumcision on a news web forum are circumcised (out of interest, all of those reading this who are NOT circumcised and in support of it, make yourself known now). That there is support from the adult circumcised is a not a defence of your arguments.

You (the adult circumcised) have no choice, you will never get your foreskins back, ever. You have never known what it was like to have one, and if it happened that you were circumcised as an adult it was likely due to religious obligation - not an unfair comment I think, and certainly not one loaded with prejudice, anti-semitism, or racism, the accusation of which by Edin is frankly disgusting. There are people out there who were circumcised by default, like those from the US, but I doubt they would accuse us of anti-american sentiments for our criticisms.

Thankfully modern society is making progress in facing up to barbaric traditions, the acceptance of which serves no purpose other than placating those born into dogma and unable to see the reality of their actions. Mutilating the young.
23:36 June 29, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
The judge sounds like a knob end to me.

Seriously though, I don't know much about this circumcision and how much it hurts the child. It is not done under anestetic as far as I can make out so I wouldn't fancy it really. I got surgically circumcised much later in life and was under narcosis when the operation was performed. I was pretty uncomfortable for some weeks afterwards too. I guess this religious form of circumcism is only a small cut from the top of the foreskin but surely it must hurt somewhat and it is time old religious customs that have no useful function should be abolished. The argument of religious custom is not a good argument. So is stoning women for adultry but we have moved on from that one a long time ago. The fact circumcision is good on health grounds does not get away from the fact it should not be carried out under such circumstances.
01:21 June 30, 2012 by franconia
You young people don't know diddly and if one of you is over 65 and from Germany you should know that we were all circumcised , Nazis or not, Lutheran and Catholic and whatever ! No Pastor ,Minister , Cardinal and whoever did it at Church with possibly an antique and sometimes unclean Knife. It was always a Doc . THAT the courts want to forbid what goes on with the religious Quacks now,and who are untrained in medical procedures and emergencies. Let people go to a Doc, not a religious Quack.
19:38 June 30, 2012 by Karl Tn
I am jewish and consider circumcision an attrocity against newborns' rights. I do agree with this german rule and hope one day all countries ban this stupid tradition. G'd created us with foreskin, so why tear it appart? And newborns do feel pain.
13:52 July 6, 2012 by ITAMAR
Yes Karl Th if you were born to a Jewish mother you are a Jew even if you converted to the Christian religion ,eat pigs or decided not to make circumcision.

But then you must know that making laws , using court or police will not avoid the Jews who believe in their religion to practice that ritual,it has been practiced in the past and will be also in the future,and we talk just about 15 millions Jews a very small number, what about hunders of millions of Moslems living around the world?
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