web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Circumcision Debate in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

Father and son during Brit mila in Paris.

Father and son during Brit mila in Paris.
Photo Credit: Serge Attal/Flash90

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany denounced the regional court decision as a “blatant and inadmissible interference” with parents’ rights. It stated, “Freedom of religion is highly valued in our constitution and cannot be the plaything of a one-dimensional case law which, furthermore, consolidates existing prejudices and stereotypes.”

Among German Christian religious authorities, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Aachen, Heinrich Mussinghoff, described the regional court ruling against male circumcision as “contradicting basic rights on freedom of religion,” adding that the court argument about “the well-being of the child” was “not convincing.” A legal affairs official of the German Evangelical Church, Hans Ulrich Anke, said the ruling did not “sufficiently” take into account the religious importance of the ritual.

The case opened many areas for contention, including the belief that children have a “right to self-determination,” what the limits of such “self-determination” would involve, and whether parents have a right to raise their children in the religious traditions parents choose. In addition, Catholic, Protestant and some Muslim exponents viewed the decision as reflecting growing disregard for religious sensibilities rather than as an expression of anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim prejudice. Finally, the link between Jews, numbering about 200,000 in Germany, for whom circumcision is a religious obligation, and Muslims, numbering at least four million in the country, among whom circumcision is required or recommended, according to different Islamic interpretations, raises questions about the security of both minorities, and potentially of others, in maintaining their religious practices.

Rabbi Goldschmidt, in an address to a conference of European Orthodox rabbis in Berlin, called on them to defy the German law and to continue circumcising newborn boys. He told the group that if the law is enforced, “it would mean that a large part of the (Jewish) community does not have a future in Germany.”

Similarly, Serkan Tören, a Turkish-born representative of the centrist Free Democratic Party, which governs Germany in a coalition with the larger Christian Democratic Party, warned that “a ban on circumcision would be the clearest signal to the Muslims in our country that they are not part of Germany, that they are not even welcome.”

Legal obligations and guarantees of human rights should be universally applied – but these should include mutual respect between religious and non-religious people, and members of differing religious communities. Germany would do well to examine thoroughly, respectfully and seriously, the beliefs of its Jewish and Muslim citizens about the circumcision of their sons, not to mention the unquestionable medical advantages. In favoring the freedom of parents to choose circumcision, Germany will rid itself of an absurd and unnecessary diversion at a time of much greater political and financial responsibilities both in Europe and the world.

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

About the Author: Veli Sirin is a leader of the Alevi Islamic youth movement in Germany, composed of Germans of Turkish and Kurdish ethnic origin who adhere to secular politics, and other contemporary values, and oppose the encroachment of fundamentalism in Turkish governance. He is also a Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Germany.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “The Circumcision Debate in Germany, Austria and Switzerland”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Change this picture, before some idiot or some antisemite start saying that the baby is spitting blood because of the circumcision, while it's sweet wine or grape juice he has blissfully sucked on…

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
UN Human Rights Council
UN HRC Condemns Israel (But Not Hamas) for War Crimes
Latest Indepth Stories
Jelgava Synagogue, Latvia

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

United Nations Building, New York City

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Zuckerman-070315

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

wedding cake

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

The Gaza flotilla has been rightfully and legally blocked by Israel’s Navy, with greetings from Bibi

The president described the attack as “an act that drew on a long history of bombs and arson and shots fired at churches, not random, but as a means of control, a way to terrorize and oppress…”

“The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump.

And whereas at the outset the plan was that Iran would have to surrender most of its centrifuges, it will now be able to retain several thousand.

Now oil independent, US no longer needs its former strategic alliances with Gulf States-or Israel

In addition to the palace’s tremendous size it was home to the “hanging gardens,” which were counted among the seven wonders of the ancient world.

More Articles from Veli Sirin
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (L), and Fethullah Gülen.

The unraveling of relations between Erdoğan and Gülen overshadow the corruption scandal.

turks on campus

“We will not allow boys and girls to live together in state-owed student residences… All kinds of messy things are happening.”

Legal obligations and guarantees of human rights should be universally applied – but these should include mutual respect between religious and non-religious people, and members of differing religious communities. Germany would do well to examine thoroughly, respectfully and seriously, the beliefs of its Jewish and Muslim citizens about the circumcision of their sons, not to mention the unquestionable medical advantages.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/the-circumcision-debate-in-germany-austria-and-switzerland/2012/07/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: