Jews and Muslims applaud German vote to protect circumcision

The German parliament has relieved Muslims and Jews by passing a law Wednesday (Dec. 12) that allows infant male circumcision … Continued

The German parliament has relieved Muslims and Jews by passing a law Wednesday (Dec. 12) that allows infant male circumcision for religious reasons.

A spring ruling by a regional court in Cologne equated the practice with inflicting bodily harm, and resulted in charges against a German rabbi for circumcising a baby boy on the eighth day of life, as Jewish law dictates.

“Circumcision is critical to Jewish and Muslim religious life,” said Deidre Berger, director of the Berlin office of the American Jewish Committee. “The German parliament’s action should put to rest reprehensible allegations that Jewish and Muslim religious upbringing violates children’s rights and endangers the welfare of children.”

Just as circumcision in Judaism marks the covenant between God and the Jewish people, Muslim tradition also sees it as an act to include a male in the religious community. Islam is generally not as exacting about the age of the child or when the procedure should be performed.

Leaders of Germany’s 250,000 Jews and 4 million Muslims lobbied hard against the Cologne ruling, calling it an act of religious intolerance.

The new law, passed by a 434-100 vote, with 46 abstentions, allows parents to opt for circumcision for their sons by a trained practitioner. After six months of age, a doctor must perform it.

Still, many Europeans and a growing number of Americans are rejecting ritual circumcision as a painful mutilation and permanent dulling of sexual pleasure inflicted upon a person who is too young to consent. The individual’s right to bodily integrity, anti-circumcision activists argue, should trump parents’ religious beliefs.

U.S. circumcision rates have declined steeply since the 1970s, when about 80 percent of baby boys were circumcised, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, about 55 percent were circumcised.

In San Francisco last year, a ballot question that garnered more than 12,000 signatures called for a ban on the practice, but the measure was ruled illegal by a California judge before it could be put to a vote. As in Germany, Muslim and Jewish groups protested the proposal as an assault on religious freedom.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has determined that the benefits of circumcision – including a lower risk of sexually transmitted diseases – outweigh the risks, but are not great enough to recommend universal circumcision on baby boys, and advises that the decision should be left to parents.

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  • BavarianQueen

    Germany and France have the largest jewish and muslim population. It is only natural that Germany as the European leader would step forward to put a ban on it. Of course, the nazi nonsense would be brought up by the progressives once again, no surprise there. German courts had only suggested to postpone the ordeal till the child is old enough to make that decision. There is no time restriction in the Muslim culture. It is actually not even written in the Quran that it must be performed. Circumcision limits sexual pleasure and function. Ancient rabbi Maimonides even said that in his writings. Circumcision was performed differently back then, too. Today we have the extreme removal of the foreskin. Genesis 17, was conveniently altered by the temple priests who were running the show back then. Most scholars recognize the 4 texts, J, E, D and P. Genesis 17 is part of the P text, the last text to be composed but the first to mention circumcision. The authors were these priests

  • jackno1

    “protect circumcision” — protect the ability to mutilate a baby, to inflict pain on a baby, to harm sexual function and pleasure of the man he will become. What a creepy and sick thing to protect.

    The parts that are cut off are some of the most highly innervated parts of the human. The lips, nipples and fingertips have similar touch sense. To take this away from another person without their consent is heinous. To do this to a newborn baby is creepy, child abuse and a human rights VIOLATION.

    It’s about time someone stood up to these wackos who still believe that the genital mutilation of baby boy is an acceptable practice. Cutting off genital parts of a defenseless baby is, or should be, a crime.

  • cs9243

    Female genital mutilation (FGM) is comparable practice to male circumcision, Luckily this is not required unde any religious laws. However FGM has been a social custom in Northern Africa for millennia. This is a social custom practiced by Animists, Christians, and Muslims in those countries where FGM is common. These procedures are painful, cause permanent dulling of sexual pleasure and they are inflicted upon a person who is too young to consent. There is no evidence that circumcision would reduce the chance of a male contracting sexually transmitted disease (STD).There are no scientific studies or documentary evidence to support this opinion.