Tempers flare over religious circumcision and religious freedom in Germany
On July 17, 2012 At 2:10 pm
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The debate over religious circumcision in Germany continues to rage after Chancellor Angela Merkel told her party the country risked becoming a "laughing stock" over a court ruling calling religious circumcision a criminal act, according to a report.
George Ehrmann, president of the German group, "Save the Children," told AFP news that his organization has noted "with concern" that the conversation has drifted to "religious freedom."
"Circumcision is not a religious ritual like baptism. It's an infringement on the child," he said. "The case in Cologne showed that a boy spent ten days in the hospital. This proves that circumcision is not a harmless ritual, but an injury."
Rabbi Pinchas Goldsmith, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, saw the issue as an attack on the Jewish religion. "It is a straightforward attack against the practice of 4,000 years of the Jewish people. [...] It is an attack against the basic tenet of Judaism and it is an attack against the continuity of the Jewish community in Germany. Jews were living in Germany for the last thousand years and if there would be a medical problem, why for the last thousand years, nobody has said one word?"
He said the circumcision medical problem arose from the Muslim community, not the Jewish community, adding that parents who allow their children to participate in dangerous sports like skiing or sailing subject their children to higher risks of injury than circumcision.