Jews, Muslims stage circumcision march in Germany



A protester wearing a kippa attends a demonstration for the religious right of circumcision at Bebelplatz in Berlin, Germany, on September 09, 2012. Around 500 mainly Jewish but some Christian and Muslim protesters gathered in Berlin Sunday to demand the right to circumcision after a disputed court ruling in Germany outlawing the rite. AFP

BERLIN—Around 500 mainly Jewish but some Christian and Muslim protesters gathered in Berlin on Sunday to demand the right to circumcision after a disputed court ruling in Germany outlawing the rite.

Some protesters were draped in Israeli flags, others wore orthodox Jewish dress for the peaceful demonstration on Berlin’s Bebelplatz, infamous as the site of book-burning ceremonies carried out by Adolf Hitler’s Nazis.

One banner at the demonstration accused Germany of reverting to a “colonial power” while another read: “Foreskin? No thank you!”

Following the judgement from the court in Cologne saying circumcision was tantamount to grievous bodily harm, Jewish and Muslim groups joined forces for the protest in central Berlin as the foreign minister expressed his concern.

“I am very worried about this debate. It will not be understood in any way outside our country,” Guido Westerwelle told Focus news magazine.

“It is completely incomprehensible that Jewish families in Germany might not be able to have their young boys circumcised,” added the minister.

Diplomats admit the ruling has proved “disastrous” for Germany’s international image, particularly in light of its Nazi past, following uproar from religious and political leaders in Israel as well as Muslim countries

The leader of Germany’s Jewish community, Dieter Graumann, told the same publication it was “unbearable” that Jews were being portrayed as “child torturers” for carrying out the practice.

And he backed his predecessor as head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, who said last week that Jewish life in Germany was being questioned for the first time since 1945.

“I can well understand her feelings,” said Graumann.

On Wednesday, the city of Berlin imposed new legal conditions on parents who have their boys circumcised.

Both parents must give written permission after being informed of the risks of the procedure, and provide proof of the “religious motivation and religious necessity of the circumcision” before the child is old enough to take the decision himself.

Berlin’s top justice official, Thomas Heilmann, said the new policy was intended to protect the rights of Jewish and Muslim parents and their children.

About four million Muslims and more than 200,000 Jews live in Germany.

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  • lintangbedol

    wala na ang german cut

    • Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus

      thanks. that really made me feel better hahahaha! this is frightening in a biblical sense. why doesn’t the vatican comment on this rather than make the mass more confusing?

      • Hugh7

         Officially, the Catholic Church opposes circumcision. The news just hasn’t reached the Philippines yet.

        Gal 5:2 “… if you become circumcised, Christ is of no value to you.”
        Benedict XIV (1740-58)
        “…the amputation of any part of the human body is never legal, except when the entire body cannot be saved from destruction by any other method.”
        Pius XII
        “From a moral point of view, circumcision is permissible if, in accordance with therapeutic principles, it prevents a disease that cannot be countered in any other way”
        and the Catechism:
        “Item 2297: Respect for bodily integrity … Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.”
        Benedict XVI
        “…the Apostles with the Elders decided to discontinue the practice of circumcision so that it was no longer a feature of the Christian identity. It was only in this way that, in the end, they officially made possible the Church of the Gentiles, a Church without circumcision”

        Yet the urge to meddle with baby genitals is almost unstoppable. Circumcision is a “cure” looking for a disease, an intervention in search of an excuse.

      • adam_d_ant

        huh  …. Christ was circumcised..
        you put more stock on the word of a pope?  the pope’s no different from all of us.  he’s just human.

      • Hugh7

        What the Pope says matters nothing to me, but it might matter to some Catholics, since Ornbort Vortingeresdemesus asked about the Vatican.

        Outside the USA, South Korea and the Philippines, hardly any Christians are circumcised. Christians believe Jesus was circumcised, as he was crucified, so that we need not be.

  • Constantine

    The British people certainly welcome this ruling because the Brits are scared of being circumcised!

  • valsore

    If there is freedom to pierce one’s ears, why is there no freedom to circumcize?

    • Cubano

      Those are the freedom of the person himself.  Those are his or her choices.  Not their parents.

  • 12JEM

    Household: Tagalog Mother, Ilocano Father….9-year old son

    Son:  Inay, pahinging P100.00, punta ako sa Health Center para magpatuli.

    Mother: O hayan ang P200.00, isama mo na tatay mo at sabihin mo magpatuli rin siya.

    • Constantine

      He he he why the Ilocano father?

  • teddy

    grievous bodily harm? to whom?

    • Cubano

      There were lots of circumcision that has gone wrong.  The person concerned should have the final say, not the parents, not the rabbis, not the imams.

  • Marx Louis Wang

    Kaya naman napipipilitan magpatuli ang pinoy dahil sa peer pressures. Kapag di ka tuli, supot ka, kapag supot ka pagtatawanan ka, kaya naging culture na ng pinoy na magpatuli. Nakakita na ba kayo ng sanggol na tinutuli? Sapilitang isine-separate yung forskin sa head ng ari at ang iyak ng sanggol dahil sa sakit ay hindi niyo mai-imagine. Kaya dapat ang pagpapatuli ay nasa decision ng may-ari at alamin niya ang benefits nito. (kung meron man)

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