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Jews, Muslims increase calls for circumcision law

The Local · 6 Jul 2012, 09:55

Published: 06 Jul 2012 09:55 GMT+02:00

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The Los-Angeles-based Jewish group called on German lawmakers to provide legal safety for the practice, saying it would be "a stain on today's Germany" to let the court ruling stand.

Criminalising circumcision was “an attack on one of the fundamental principles of Judaism," wrote Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the Centre in a letter to Merkel.

"For 3,500 years, every male child has entered the Jewish people through the rite of circumcision. We are not talking about a mere custom, but a biblical principle that has defined the Jewish people from time immemorial."

They noted that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler said "in one of his infamous anti-Semitic rants" that "conscience is a Jewish invention, it is a blemish like circumcision."

"Since the defeat of Nazism, Germany has come a long way, and worked very hard to successfully chart a new course after the horrific legacy of the Holocaust by guaranteeing religious freedom and democracy," they wrote.

In a decision that sparked outrage from German Jewish and Muslim groups, a Cologne court last month ruled - in what could set a legal precedent - that the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents."

The ruling marked a "big blow against integration," a spokesman for the Coordinating Council of Muslims in Germany, one of some 20 groups representing most of Germany's around four million Muslims, said on Wednesday.

German Muslim leaders urged lawmakers Wednesday to pass legislation protecting the right to circumcise boys after a court ruling against the practice when carried out on religious grounds.

Around 20 organisations representing most of Germany's around four million Muslims said parliament must ensure religious freedom by eliminating the legal uncertainty that now surrounds the practice.

"We call on the German Bundestag (lower house) and the government to act as quickly as possible to put an end to this legal insecurity and establish legal safeguards allowing the circumcision of boys," said Gurcan Mert of the Turkish Islamic Union, speaking on behalf of the other groups.

The ruling marked a "big blow against integration", Ali Kizilkaya, spokesman for the Coordinating Council of Muslims in Germany, another of the groups issuing the appeal, told the same news conference.

"Germany is a state based on the rule of law where rights, in particular religious liberties, are very important and I think that a ban (on circumcision) would not be good for Germany or Germany's image and concept of rights," he said.

"I hope this will be corrected quickly."

The Muslim groups are in contact with Jewish and Christian leaders on the issue and discussing how to bring pressure to bear on the political class, Ramazan Kuruguz from the conference of regional Islamic organisations said.

"We will speak with politicians and if necessary, we will of course hold protests and demonstrations," he said.

Story continues below…

Thousands of young boys are circumcised every year in Germany, especially in the country's large Jewish and Muslim communities.

After the ruling touched off a storm of international protest, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle insisted the country would continue to protect religious freedom and rites including circumcision.

However several doctors and hospitals have said they would suspend the practice as long as its legal standing is unclear.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

11:34 July 6, 2012 by Münsterklaus
"We are not talking about a mere custom, but a biblical principle"... they have almost convinced me. If it is appears in the Bible it must be legit. LOL :)

It is easy: postpone the ritual until the child is a man who can decide about the mutilation of his body. His penis, his decision.

I don't care if the parents are goody-goody Jews/Muslims or freaks addicted to scarification or plastic surgery: children are not toys nor extensions of their parents' delusions.

Your freedom ends where other people's rights start: we don't "own" our children.

Some freaks cut down their children's bodies (penis, clitoris, etc.), others don't allow blood transfusions or organ transplants to save their life...

There is an age of consent, mandatory education, universal health care and now a law that protect against mutilation.

This is 2012 Deutschland no 2500BC Holyland.
12:11 July 6, 2012 by gladwellmartin
@Münsterklaus you are a moron. The stop piercing the ears of girls because also originated from the Bible. Then go and kill because the Bible says thou shall not kill. Then go sleep with your father's wife because the Bible says thou shall not commit adultery, go live the way you want and see if anyone else will live. The fact is every facet of human life is governed by laws. Moral as well as physical laws. Throw out the moral laws and see how Deutschland will be like. It happened under Hitler, it happened under Napoleon. When you remove God's law which is the very foundation of the constitution of any country including Deutscland and replace it by so called educated and enlightened people's law, society disintegrate. Learn from history.


21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
12:33 July 6, 2012 by ITAMAR

"This is 2012 Deutschland no 2500BC Holyland."

I do agree with that ,but surprise we got the most modern and advanced country in the middle east in all fields:medicine,science, culture,art ,agriculture,+10 Nobel prize winners which for a small country like our ,which exsist 64 years it is something.

You can naturly make the rules in your country,

in that case it is the Jews who need to take decision.

13:06 July 6, 2012 by K.Menuhin
From 1999 until 2002 the rate of circumcision in the USA was 79%. In the 1970's it was 91%, in the 1980's 83% and in 2011, 80%. Although the rate is falling slightly it is still an impressive figure considering that religious choice can only be a small fraction of this total thus it is evident that parents and adults who have been circumcised later in life have made their choice based upon a number of non-religious reasons.

As a result I feel that the doctors and hospitals who have refused to circumcise must ask themselves why millions of non-Jewish and non-Muslim American men are circumcised each year. Let us leave God out of the argument and weigh the decision upon the reasons millions have chosen this path.
13:39 July 6, 2012 by Kennneth Ingle
The mutilation of the human body may be a religious ritual, but this does not make it any better! The children concerned are usually at an age in which they cannot decide or speak for themselves.

Circumcision was originally introduced in countries and within peoples where personal hygiene was little known. It was carried out in the hope that contracting infections, during later sexual activities, would be less liable where no folds of skin could harbour unwanted communicable diseases. This tradition was taken over by some religions and has become part of the religious way of life.

To prevent adults causing bodily harm, to children in their trust, it is quite right that such primitive rituals should be banned until the victims are old enough to chose for themselves! Then it would be up to each individual to decide for himself whether this act makes any sense.

The fact that something has always been done, does not mean that it is necessarily right. The care and human rights of children should definitely be placed well above superstitions and other forms of unnatural dogmas. Not religion, but the unnecessary violence toward helpless children, is quite correctly criticised in this verdict.
13:45 July 6, 2012 by William Thirteen
it's a hard decision...he,he,he
13:49 July 6, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ gladwellmartin

The fact that you start with an attack on the person says much about your arguments' (lack of) strength. Then you commit a fallacy by suggesting that Münsterklaus' point was to follow the opposite of what the Bible say (actually he stated that if it is in the Bible, it is not necessarily true/good). You continue by suggesting that the only moral is the God's moral. "God's law which is the very foundation of the constitution of any country including Deutscland" you say. Well, you probably missed the news that many if not most of the countries have secular Constitutions.

I find it hard to believe that God/Allah will be mad on Jewish/Muslim boys if they are not entered the religion forcefully, but they make up their mind when they are of age.

@ K.Menuhin

"why millions of non-Jewish and non-Muslim American men are circumcised each year"

The German hospitals are still performing circumcisions that are performed on minors for medical purposes. They are refusing the ones without a medical ground.
14:14 July 6, 2012 by Leo Strauss
Finally an issue that has unified both Jews and Muslims: Child mutilation!

Nobel Peace Prize for Germany!
14:24 July 6, 2012 by twisted
Don't know if this is a fact or not, but I recall it being said that circumcision of a man decreases the chance of his wife/partner/mate (of the female variety) contracting any form of cancer in the uterus. If that is true, criminalizing circumcision seems a bit weird.
14:48 July 6, 2012 by romber58

Me;-Why do you believe that the bible is god,s word?

You;-Because it says so in the bible

Me;-Why do you believe what is in that book?

You;-Because it is gods word

Me;- Ok,let,s leave it there.,I need a pint and to have thinking, intelligent ccompany around me ....
15:06 July 6, 2012 by Johnne
It´s funny how this issue has been centralised to religion. What about hygiene? what about cultural values/reason? African males are circumcised so what are we talking about! Circumcision for male children is just necessary! the male child will thank his parents for making that decision for him when he´s matured enough. I know what I´m saying-speaking from experience.
15:16 July 6, 2012 by Leslie44
There are some strange comments here. The issue is surely, Where and when did circumcision originate? If, as the Bible says, it was instituted by God Himself (in speaking to Abraham, Genesis chapter 17), then I don't think any court in the world, be it ever so "humanitarian", has the right to forbid the practice. As a Christian, I believe, of course, that circumcision is an "Old Testament" rite, done away with by the Cross of Christ, but if Jews and/or Moslems want to continue to practice it, I see no reason whatever why they shouldn't. The reasons the court gave for "forbidding" the practice would, in part at any rate, apply to paedobaptism in German Lutheran and R.C. churches. Is anyone thinking about "forbidding" that? I assume not!
16:26 July 6, 2012 by catjones
It would appear that when god made man in his own image he made a mistake (infallible?) and corrected it in the bible. He just couldn't seem to get it right the first time.
16:34 July 6, 2012 by romber58

This is all to do with religion.

If the foreskin was so unhyginic then nature would have got rid of it over the thousands and thousands of years.That is just nature,s way.

Circumcision is genital mutilation of young children (who evidently were NOT made exactly in the image of god and need to be modified)

Once again, the proof that normally good and decent people are capable of ANYTHING if they are brainwashed into believing that a god has told them what to do.
17:08 July 6, 2012 by dr.makni49
Well said, circumcision amounts to an act of aggression against the child when he does not understand and speak for himself. Cutting off the part of umbilical cord of a new born baby is even more serious. Let us find some way to preserve it.

It is a strange argument when parents are suspected and denied the privilege to take minor decision on behalf of their OWN child. Laud the court, you may, but it is out of sync with history.
17:25 July 6, 2012 by romber58

I,m serious

There is such an overload of ,I guess,irony in your comment that it is not clear to anyone outside your friends and family just exactly what your point of view is....
17:37 July 6, 2012 by yonnie
Circumcision used to be a right of passage. Something done when the person went from childhood to adulthood by themselves. This is barbaric, especially when done on babies who have no choice and no conscious effort to prove manhood/womanhood by self-mutilation as described in the bible.

This practice had absolutely nothing to do with hygiene and everything to do with proof of devotion to a man-made-god that doesn't exist. It is sick, disgusting and completely barbaric!!

Parents who do this to little babies should be arrested and tossed into jail for extreme child-abuse and endangerment. This practice is nothing less than mutilation that can never be fully repaired or restored by corrective surgery. The damage is permanent, leaving scars both physical and mental.

Take your damn religion, shove it up your own ass and don't fart in public!
17:45 July 6, 2012 by romber58

Exactly so
17:53 July 6, 2012 by dr.makni49

Possibly yonnie has understood me that has led him to thunder on me the way he is used to over his thunder box. Read his last line, he stinks and reveals hims through and through.
19:31 July 6, 2012 by ITAMAR

Mutilation of organ is by medical definition damage done to an organ by surgery or trauma in a way the organ loss completly its form and function,this is a pure medical defintion, now in circumcision just a thin external foreskin is removed.

In Israel just 10% of population are religious ,90% are not, but 97% of the population practice the circumcision, nobody force them if your mother is a Jew you are a Jew even if you are not circomsied, or eat pig or converted to the Christian church or are atheist,

In August 1989 a group of Israelies who oppose circumsion had appealed tothe Suprime court in Jerusalem, the appeal was rejected, the court decided that circumcision is not a medical care in Israel but religion ritual which was practised by the Jews for tousends of years, because Israel per definition was established on the Jewish traditions and values , the state does not interfer with that retual, 2% of the population do oppose that ritual and do not practice it.

The court added that circumcision is like piercing or tatuating,

I understand your hate toward the religion but it will be diffuclt to you to arrest hunders of millions of people around the world or to force them to stop believe in God just because you do not believe in it or like it.
22:22 July 6, 2012 by halthouse1
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
00:16 July 7, 2012 by narfmaster
So...now it's illegal to have anything but an infection prone anteater penis. Great. Seriously, some things in the Bible are there for a reason.
00:26 July 7, 2012 by DrGideonPolya
Primitive religious rituals such as circumcision practised by primitive, violent, genocidal tribes several thousand years ago and involving physical assault on children are not permitted under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The moral issue of forcing male circumcision on infants has been obfuscated by requirements for credentialled surgeons and medical benefits of male circumcision - the moral issue of the human rights-violating assault on defenceless infants remains.

The issue becomes clearer if one considers female circumcision that is widely practised in the northern half of Africa. Will decent people bow to religious and other demands for freedom to forcibly impose this primitive mutilation on young children? Surely no decent people would permit this barbarity but consistency suggests that religious and cultural leaders would advocate its application in Germany provided credentialled surgeons did the job.

A related issue of abuse of sentient creatures is of religiously-advocated inhumane slaughter of animals. Humane societies and animal ethics experts demand that animals should be stunned before slaughter (Google FAO's "Chapter 7: slaughter of livestock"). Australia suspended its live cattle trade with Indonesia after ABC TV broadcast horrific scenes of animal abuse. However while pre-slaughter stunning is acceptable to Muslim halal practice, it is apparently forbidden by Jewish kosher practice. The pro-war, pro-Zionist, human rights-violating Australian Government evidently bowed to Zionist pressure and ignored the advice of people such as outstanding animal rights expert and anti-racist Jewish Australian Professor Peter Singer when it resumed the live cattle trade and supported inhumane animal slaughter both at home and abroad.

Physical abuse of children (e.g. circumcision that is not medically advised) and intellectual abuse of children (e.g. religious brainwashing and Palestinian Genocide-promoting Zionist brainwashing) are both utterly repugnant.
01:56 July 7, 2012 by bob searcy
the jewish people generally believe the bible is a land deed too but that doesnt make it so. if germany considers it illegal to mutilate female genitalia then young men should be protected too.

i can answer why so many americans perform circumcision. its because , once again, of that silly book. americans believe the jewish to be chosen dont ya know.

as for the muslim population? when your youth openly reject your fairy tales your nations may become civilized.
04:02 July 7, 2012 by soros
This is another issue on which a secular government needs to stand firm. The religious fanatics of whatever faith are doing their utmost to establish their theocratic rule in Western countries. If this circumcision law is overturned, it will be a defeat for secularist democracy and modernity and a step closer to theocracy, Iran or Saudi style.

Dont' be fooled. These issues are not a matter of "religious faith". Today we are in a struggle between the future and the past: between greater freedom and responsibility of the individual and the rule of the clergy. The contest is ideological and its outcome will decide the future or our grandchildren.
08:16 July 7, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ ITAMAR #20

"In Israel just 10% of population are religious ,90% are not, but 97% of the population practice the circumcision,"

Where did you took those figure? The official figures that I found say exactly the opposite, namely that only 20% of the Jewish population is secular.
08:31 July 7, 2012 by Tharwat
I am sorry I haven¦#39;t had a chance to read all comments since the first time this topic surfaced but I have a question to those who accuse circumcision of mutation. Have you ever met a person who is complaining about being circumcised? I mean really, did you ever see a man sobbing over a drink, in the bar or anywhere for that matter, which told you i don¦#39;t feel complete? I mean where is all this defending of children birth rights coming from...
09:50 July 7, 2012 by ITAMAR
Chris Rea

Well I will give you the exact government numbers:

44% are not religious.

27%are not religious but keeping some of the tradition.

12% are rnational-religious

9% are religious

8%ultra religious.

The conflict inside the Israeli society is between the 44% of the not religious and the last 2 groups -religious and ultraorthodox and goes on the bilance between the religion rules and wish of the non religious not to be influence from the rules , the "moto" here is "live your life and let me live my life"

Very basic questions are issues to endless political fights between the religious parties and the non religious for the last 64 years: public transport on Saterday,Army service of the religioius guys.the summer clock ecc,who is Jew ecc.

In Israel there is no separation between state and religion,the state does not give the opportunity to civil marriage as in Europe,many couples travel to Cyprus or Europe to get marry and then come back.

Yes it is very complicated here but most of the citizens live their life here they have to survive the not easy economical situation and the costant state of war with the out side minnances and get no time and forces to occupy with the political questions.
10:29 July 7, 2012 by hankeat
I think they should invent zippable foreskin. Zip on, zip off as you wish, problem solved.
06:27 July 8, 2012 by dr.makni49
ChrisRea #26

"Where did you took those figure?" That is what you wrote. English should be your native language but your grammar has not impressed me.Have mercy on the language..hahaha
08:52 July 8, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ dr.makni49

"English should be your native language" - right, next thing is that you will figure out my nationality, where I was born and the hobby of my grandfather.

In case I was not clear, English is not my native language. It is my third.

Thank you in advance for your comments on the content.
20:05 July 8, 2012 by Englishted

Go on then I'll ask what are the first and second ?.

Any answer you give will be kept a secret as dictated by German secrecy laws ,so when I read you answer I will eat my computer to destroy the evidence that this comment ever took place .

P.S I like reading your comments I don't always agree but thats the joy of free speech we both stand up for.
21:26 July 8, 2012 by ITAMAR
Dr. Gideon Polya

you are doing what is called in Italian"Insalata Mista"=a mixed Salad in which you put Jews, circumcision,Zionism,Israeli Palestinian conflict,

What all these components has to do with the circumcision practice by the Jews for 4000 years

you have to get used to the fact that there are millions of people all over the world who live after their tradition in their lands and you can not come with the Moto"you brutal Indian and primitive , stop your religion and tradition otherwise I will come with my laws and police to fix it" it did not work in the past it will not work in the future
10:25 July 9, 2012 by ChrisRea

Thank you for revising your false statement about how many religious people are in Israel.

DrGideonPolya pointed out that the circumcision is primitive religious ritual similar to the ones performed by couple of tribes in Africa. The fact that it is "holy" for those who practice it does mean that mutilation of a child should be allowed in Germany. In their countries, I would add, they are free to do what they wish. In Germany, freedom (including religious freedom) stops where it means disrespecting the rights of other people. In Germany, children are not the slaves of their parents, so the law protects them against being beaten or mutilated.

DrGideonPolya made then a relevant comparison of how the Jewish religion/tradition does not allow slaughtering the animals (for food purpose) in a way that would ease/eliminate their pain. In both cases, the Jewish religion opposes ethics /morality.

Can you see now the "red thread/string" (roter Faden) in what DrGideonPolya said?
22:06 July 30, 2012 by friedenstempel
German muslims don't circumcise their children. They are not jews. The same muslims who circumcise their children for no reason will probably also stone offenders and murder their relatives to save family honour. Time to get real. 21 century standards, please. Germany does not host many muslim extremists, and the most violent of them are converted ones. German Muslims should stand up against the utter nonsense and abuse of islam.

Jews may turn jerks in Germany as they like. They could do as they like. But for the sake of the psychological sanity of their children they shouldn't.
08:37 August 21, 2012 by dr.makni49
Great debate.

It has put Jews and Muslims, some Christian on the same grid. Find out topics like pork eating and alcohol taking to strengthen ranks and file guys, it would be good scene.

Islamic-Judaic-Christian Army on way to 'jehad'...proposition is achievable.
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