• Germany edition
 
Parliament adopts law allowing circumcision
Photo: DPA

Parliament adopts law allowing circumcision

Published: 12 Dec 2012 17:12 GMT+01:00
Updated: 12 Dec 2012 17:12 GMT+01:00

Germany's parliament passed a law on Wednesday to allow religious circumcision, clarifying the legal situation after a court said the rite amounted to grievous bodily harm in a ruling that caused international uproar.

Members of lower house of parliament the Bundestag passed the cross-party motion with 434 votes for the measure, 100 against and with 46 abstentions.

The legislation states that male infants may be circumcised for religious reasons within six months of their birth by a "specially trained" practitioner, although this person does not have to be a doctor.

Nevertheless, the rite must be carried out "in a professional medical manner," the law states and stipulates exemptions for infants who could be at risk from the practice such as haemophiliacs.

The legislation sought to clear up confusion after a judgement published in June by the regional court in the western city of Cologne.

While considering a case brought against a doctor who had circumcised a Muslim boy, the court ruled the rite was tantamount to grievous bodily harm. The decision united Jewish and Muslim groups in opposition and caused outrage from religious and political leaders in Israel and Muslim countries.

"I am pleased and relieved about the decision of the German parliament," said Dieter Graumann, president of the German Jewish Council.

The law "finally restores legal certainty and hopefully ends the often unfortunate debate that took place in 2012," he added. German politicians had acted "quickly and responsibly" and they deserve "praise and respect" for this, Graumann said.

Diplomats had admitted that the ruling proved "disastrous" for Germany's international image, particularly in light of its Nazi past.

Merkel was reported to have warned that Germany risked becoming a "laughing stock" if it banned circumcision.

Germany is home to about four million Muslims and more than 200,000 Jews.

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

18:14 December 12, 2012 by pjnt
Started well, ended bad. Total cave to a minority.

Just need to decide how much this failure will influence my vote come next election. Not a big issue, unless you're the kid getting cut up.
18:23 December 12, 2012 by Repatriated
How stupid can the German parliament get? Nothing has changed with this revised law from before when every other rabbi and imam was performing circumcision (read child abuse) on infants and minors without their personal consent. To say that this procedure doesn¦#39;t necessarily have to be performed by a doctor, but only needs to be done by "special trained practicioner in a professional medical manner" is absolutely ludicrous. Do they really think that anything is going to be done different than before??

The German legislature has no backbone to stand up for minor¦#39;s rights against physical abuse. They are nothing more than a lap dog for the Jewish and Muslim pressure groups. Since that is the case then let¦#39;s go ahead and legalize four wives for the Muslims…after all its part of their religion, isn¦#39;t it? How about we go one step further and approve sharia law for the Muslims living in Germany.
19:00 December 12, 2012 by matchstickmann
ha ha ha...look at the title and look at the pic :D:D:D i cant stop laughing!

@repatriated: its a pity that your thing was shortened without your consent and now your girl friend dumped you coze you cannot satisfy her needs.......:P buahahaha!
19:04 December 12, 2012 by Englishted
"The decision united Jewish and Muslim groups in opposition and caused outrage from religious and political leaders in Israel and Muslim countries."

As far as I'm aware travel to the countries above is not restricted so go there to physically abuse your children in the name of your god but don't make this country take a step backwards from real progress .

One other thought why are daughters not named? is it not sexist, physically abuse to them is in some parts of the world perfectly alright if god says so.

p.s. You don't have to book a return ticket if you would rather live in that system.
19:05 December 12, 2012 by blackboot11
I second pjnt here: "Started well, ended bad. Total cave to a minority."

...and I add, just because something has been done for years and has become a 'tradition', does not qualify it as right, or legal.
19:42 December 12, 2012 by Tonne
This is extremely bad news for the rights of young children. Does this also mean that female circumcision must also be allowed on the grounds of equal opportunities?

The court in this case was right in its judgment and Fr. Dr. Merkel is wrong. Germany is now a laughing stock but not because of a principled decision of its courts.

If religions demand circumcision, then let it be done when the child is an adult and is capable of deciding for itself.
19:48 December 12, 2012 by Repatriated
@matchstickmann

You are an idiot. My comment had nothing to do with the nature of your response. By the way, I did not have my thing shortened as you indicated, because I am neither Jewish nor Muslim. I also didn't force my son to go through this primitive and useless procedure.
20:22 December 12, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
It would be easy to believe that Germany is run by a small group of religious fanatics, rather than by a democratic government. This is unfortunately not the first time the written constitution of the Bundes-Republic has been breached by those responsible for its guardianship. A disgusting decision which also breaks all international agreements concerning the safekeeping of children. Shame on them all!
23:04 December 12, 2012 by gorongoza
"Merkel was reported to have warned that Germany risked becoming a "laughing stock" if it banned circumcision."

Laughing stock from who?

This chancellor Merkel has ran out of things to take cosideration of. Tell me , what has circumcision to do with Germany? When in Rome you are expected to do as the Romans do. Not everything, of course, but not for such typical cultural things like circumcision. This is a preserve of those countries from where these owns have originated - totally nothing to do with Germany.

Now people can you blame the good and gratiouos Germans when they complain about Auslanders?

Get it from me : this is a recipe for a start of a disaster in Germany. There are so many issues,deserving issues,swept under the carpet only to get this sickening issue getting PRIO 1 from the chancellor ! FOR WHAT !

OK they will vote for her after this X-mas. The swing votes.
23:49 December 12, 2012 by Heidegger555
Let this just be another clue to those who still haven't understood what the BRD is: the administrative body of the powers who since 1945 occupy what at the time was the German Reich. No peace treaty was ever signed, which means that in legal terms a state of war still exists between the victorious powers and the German people. The completely ridiculous 'constitution' of this BRD (otherwise known as the cash cow for EU, Israel, and whoever wants to show up at FRA with his hand out) renders illegal any in-depth ie. radical discussion of the recent history leading to this sad state of affairs... the Deutsche Presse Agentur is the co-ordinating body to keep the mass media in line... the nuclear submarines are being built for Israel up in Kiel (coverage please local.de ??)... the taxpayers sign as lender of last resort for another 500 billion when the bankers set up another bailout fund... and the Khazars errrr. Ostjuden or whatever you want to call them get the right to mutilate their kids.... (watch out that is important to make white blood cells down there ..... whoops!! too late) .... any questions??
08:18 December 13, 2012 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Everyone is quick to talk about democracy, and how that somehow justifies taking away the circumcision ritual from a minority.

It must be remembered that a majority can be just as much of a dictator than a single man. Democracy is about more than rule by the people; it's also about protecting the rights and desires of the minority as long as their rights and desires do not infringe upon yours.

Circumcision of babies is not child abuse; it's not even remembered by the child, and the medical opinion of it goes back and forth on benefits and disadvantages. It's certainly nothing that is going to be put you at any sort of relevant medical disadvantage in your adult life. So, at the end of the day, it's not anything that really effects you or society at large in any significant way. As such, there's no reason to ban it. Especially not if you consider that banning it would force compliance on religious groups that have been practicing it for thousands of years. You do not have a right to extend your own beliefs that far.

Don't be so quick to trample on the desires of others, for if you do, you might find that some day they come to trample on your desires with an equally vocal mob.
10:21 December 13, 2012 by mobaisch
i am circumcised and i will do it to my male-kids when they come to life.

all of you winy commentators just trying to force your "democratic" opinion on others.

I find the result of the procedure (which must be medically performed only by doctor), the result is more healthy and more appealing.

Dont lie to yourself and consider yourself defenders of democracy, you are just haters or maybe not, at least other-opinions-not-accepting.

"bodily harm" came to surface only when a real bodily harm has been done on a child by a stupid family from marroco in köln. The procedure is subject to opinions and it has 2 sides.
10:32 December 13, 2012 by Firmino
@ Mobaisch: Cutting off a part of someone's body is bodily harm, there's no two ways about it. And it's ridiculous that children are being mutilated for teh sake of religion. If if you believe god made you in his image then why is there a need to change it? Did god make a mistake when he made you with foreskin? ver feel the urge to cut off other parts? Your ears maybe, they're not strictly necessary!
14:00 December 13, 2012 by raandy
Lets hope we do not have any minority religious groups that believe in animal sacrifies lobbying for their rites or rights.
14:53 December 13, 2012 by mobaisch
@Firmino:

while I have not mentioned religion at any point and talked about this procedure and me preferring an opinion over another, you went directly attacking god and blabla! talk to me not him/her/it. I am not talking religion nor liking it actually; "FRANK"!

I have never met a guy who is circumcised and against it. Why only the non-circumcised attacking? it should not be their problem!
19:03 December 13, 2012 by Englishted
@mobaisch

No objection to circumcision ,any adult over the age of 16 can do whatever they want to their own body ,just not here and not to children who have no choice in the matter.

Der Grenadier aus Aachen

Correct it is a ritual and many other outdated rituals have been banned for example animal sacrifice ,there are more rituals I would like to see go fox hunting ,bullfighting ,if people want to go on with this ritual please be my guest but not in this country go where it is still a normal part of life and enjoy yourselves as adults who know why and can make up your own minds.
22:04 December 13, 2012 by blacksunne88
While the Bundestag is on this topic it should mandate castration for foreign-born rapists, followed by a one-way ticket home on a hog-transport.
22:40 December 13, 2012 by Anny One again
Be careful,otherwise

"Schneeepp schnaaapp,Peeemmel ab"
23:42 December 13, 2012 by sonriete
@mobaisch ;

You are mistaken in your belief that this legislation passed by the Bundestag requires the procedure only be performed by a medical doctor. You should read the bill.
12:37 December 14, 2012 by Firmino
@ mobaisch I mentgioned religion because all these circumcisions are done for religion reasons. Simple. There are *plenty* of guys who wish they hadn't been circumcised, many try to grow their foreskin back, many resort to dubious methods out of despair. If an adult wants their foreskin cut off that's their decision but doing this to chjildren is wrong.
14:34 December 14, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Heidegger

So far as I know the second world war was over in 1945,since then Germany was united and is the most powerfull country in Eurpoe,and also the leading one.

What you write down is called in Italian : "insalata mista"=a mixed vegetabale salad. in which you put many different issues which have nothing to do together,

The circumcision law which is an internal German issue and touch Jews and Moslems who live in Germany,your Government voted about it you may act to change it unless you believe your live under dictatorship regime,Battle ships to Israel?Germany sells weapons also to Eygpt and all over the world, like USA ,France ,Italy,Sweden and yes also Israel,if you do not like it you may act politicly to stop it,"OST JUEDEN"well that takes us to old black days of Germany brfore 1945....are you longing to that period and the way it was ended?
04:46 December 15, 2012 by sonriete
A new case emerged today in Britain of a baby boy bleeding to death as a result of a botched circumcision. The practitioner was licensed as a nurse.
10:23 December 15, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Sonriete

Every country makes its own laws considering circumcision.

Britain got its own laws ,I am sure about it, when somebody did a crime or violate the law ,he will be brought to court hall,it is true though that such cases stimulate the law makers to modify the laws
07:10 December 19, 2012 by Ernst Grafenberg
Is this anything to do with the cutbacks?
Today's headlines
April wraps up with stormy week ahead
Lightning over Lake Starnberg, in Bavaria. Photo: DPA

April wraps up with stormy week ahead

The end of April is looking stormy for Germany with hot and cold air mixing and making for wild spring weather over the coming few days, state forecasters DWD said on Wednesday. READ () »

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia
Russian troops pictured in March in Crimea. Photo: DPA

Germany sold €40 million of arms to Russia

German arms sales to Russia have come under fire following the crisis in Ukraine. In 2012 Germany sold €40 million worth of rifles, pistols and armoured vehicles to the country. READ () »

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel
Photo: Nieto Sobejano Architects, Berlin

Munich to get 'Tetris cube' hotel

Munich's old city centre is to receive an ultra modern addition to its skyline in the shape of a new hotel dubbed 'the Tetris cube'. READ () »

The Local List
German beer culture in 11 gulps
Photo: DPA

German beer culture in 11 gulps

Wednesday marks the 498th anniversary of Germany's celebrated beer purity law, so in honour of nearly half a millennium of hoppy history, this week's Local List tells some beer truths you may not know. READ () »

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral
Photo: Screenshot/Facebook

Feminist's apartment advert goes viral

Finding accommodation in Berlin is notoriously tricky. But one woman on the hunt might have a particularly hard time of it, with an advert for an apartment so absurd it has gone viral. READ () »

Russian spies step up activity in Germany
The Russian embassy building in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Russian spies step up activity in Germany

Russian spies are increasingly targeting potential informants in German politics and business by taking them out to dinner, according to counterintelligence services. READ () »

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner
Photo: DPA

Jobless benefits to get leaner and meaner

The German government is planning a shake-up of the country’s unemployment benefit system, Hartz IV, by introducing stricter rules on claimants in a move which supporters say will cut bureaucracy. READ () »

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112
Gertrud Henze. Photo: DPA

Germany's oldest woman dies aged 112

Germany’s oldest woman died at the age of 112 on Tuesday. Gertrud Henze was born on December 8th 1901 and joked her long life was down to never getting married. READ () »

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent
Police search the area near where Gabriele's body was found in October 2013. Photo: DPA

Exchange student 'murderer' stays silent

The alleged murderer of an exchange student in southern Germany stayed silent in the dock on Tuesday on the first day of his trial. READ () »

European Elections 2014
'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Hans-Olaf Henkel (r) celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AfD with leader Bernd Lücke. Photo: DPA

'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'

In an interview with The Local, one of the leaders of Germany's eurosceptic party talks about Europe's future, why Britain is a model country and why he will not work with UKIP's Nigel Farage. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Interview with AfD - 'If Britain goes, Europe is lost'
Photo: DPA
National
Police damage own water cannon with eggs
Photo: DPA
National
Let us start work later after World Cup nights, unions says
Photo: DPA
Society
Crystal meth use hits record level
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,070
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd