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wundermonk
27 June 2012, 02:55 AM
Story here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18604664):


A court in Germany has ruled that circumcising young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm.

In a decision that has caused outrage among Jewish and Muslim groups, the court said that a child's right to physical integrity trumps religious and parental rights.

The case involved a doctor who carried out a circumcision on a four year-old that led to medical complications.

Thousands of Muslim and Jewish boys are circumcised in Germany every year.

Although male circumcision - unlike female circumcision - is not illegal in Germany, the court's judgement said the "fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents".

Circumcision, it decided, contravenes "interests of the child to decide later in life on his religious beliefs".

'Protect religious freedom'
The doctor involved in the case was acquitted and the ruling is not binding, but correspondents say it sets a precedent that would be taken into account by other German courts.

The president of Germany's Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, called it "an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination".

He urged the country's parliament to clarify the legal situation "to protect religious freedom against attacks".

Male circumcision is part of the ancient religious rituals of both the Jewish and Muslim faiths, as well as the traditions of some tribal groups.

In some countries, such as the United States, it is also not uncommon for parents to request that young boys are circumcised for health reasons.

The BBC's Stephen Evans in Germany says it is unclear what the next legal step will be, but this issue is a moral and political minefield.

I never understood why if Allah/Yahweh wanted us circumcized, Allah/Yahweh being the perfect creator, could not make us circumcized already when we are born. :dunno:

Twilightdance
27 June 2012, 03:11 AM
Story here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18604664):



I never understood why if Allah/Yahweh wanted us circumcized, Allah/Yahweh being the perfect creator, could not make us circumcized already when we are born. :dunno:

You are not alone, many don't understand. But putting that aside one must take time to congratulate the German court and society to have this courage to stand against infringement of human right by religions - something we will never see in India. I hope this is followed by other courts and they make this a law. Jews and Moslems can cry out another Rhine.

McKitty
27 June 2012, 03:56 AM
Hello,

It's more by hygiene than real religious significance. This piece of skin on the man's penis can make problems when it's not large enough, or hygiene problems. Historically, African and Arab tribes were mainly nomad, they were always moving with a very hot and dry weather, sand and impurities could go in this particulary places, and provoque bad things. Plus, water was precious, so cleaning was not really done on a regular basis.
But I understand the court's decision, however, they should still authorize it if the boy/man concerned want to be circoncise.
Many of my friends are not jewish of muslims, but choosed to do this. They say it's more easy to clean and more hygienic.

Not really religious so, more hygiene purpose/traditionnal purpose, like the "purity/impurity" about hands, touched things in among Hindu people. (I don't remember the Hindu name)

What, I think, is really barbaric, it's cutting women's clitoris. Because here, there is no other excuse than to make the woman suffer, and make the woman feeling no pleasure and only suffering during sexuality. This is real barbaric deal, and many womens in Africa have her genitals cutted and are raped daily...This is really sad.


Aum~

Twilightdance
27 June 2012, 04:26 AM
Hello,

It's more by hygiene than real religious significance. This piece of skin on the man's penis can make problems when it's not large enough, or hygiene problems. Historically, African and Arab tribes were mainly nomad, they were always moving with a very hot and dry weather, sand and impurities could go in this particulary places, and provoque bad things. Plus, water was precious, so cleaning was not really done on a regular basis.

Ok. I am sure OP's doubts are now cleared, at least mine are. Cutting the fore skin off for hygiene makes perfect sense.

Eastern Mind
27 June 2012, 07:45 AM
Vannakkam: Where are lines drawn? I'm sure each individual cultural or religious 'circumstance' is different, and I'm sure the courts will look into them. I mostly agree with this one, because the child is well below any 'age of consent', but still it is imposing the norms of one culture on the norms of another. A better method, in my opinion, would have been to convince the Jews themselves of the barbarism, but that's probably just a dream.

With newborns, the use of silver nitrate (I think I have the name right) in the eyes remained routine for years. It was a leftover from the days of rampant syphilis. I wonder if that's still used in Germany.

I'm concerned mostly, for Hindus, the custom of Kavadi. The British banned Sundance here in North America, and some plains tribes went underground with it. A main difference, of course, between kavadi and circumcision is the age factor. Kavadi is undertaken by adults on their own free will. Still I can see some self-righteous groups considering it to be a backward barbarian custom. I hope it never gets to the day where all of Hinduism is considered a 'backward barbarian' custom, but that's one of the pitfalls of majority rule.

I wouldn't want to be a government official in the middle of such a thing. There are often conflicts. Here in Canada the Sikh turban has been an off and on issue. One example is the confict with the motorcycle helmet law. I'm not even sure what the end result of that one was.

Food for thought, regardless.

Aum Namasivaya

Believer
27 June 2012, 09:46 AM
Namaste,

Food for thought, regardless.
My head is already stuffed. Please don't feed it with any more new thoughts. ;)

On a serious note, some of the old customs became folded into religious traditions to force uneducated masses to conform. It is hard to shake them off. One dietary rule for muslims/jews is no pork. Granted that in the past, pigs roamed around and ingested lot of filth and carried parasites which made people sick. But now a days when the animals are farm raised and there is no chance of getting sick from pork, they still would not eat it. It became part of the religion. Same thing for circumcision. A muslim living in Germany has access to lot of water to clean/wash/soak and rinse, whatever he wants, as many times as he wants, but he would insist on circumcision. It just does not WASH, pardon the pun.

Pranam.

PS, Note to EM: Remember your personal vow? :)

Shuddhasattva
27 June 2012, 10:16 AM
Namaste, I have to say that this first statement:


It's more by hygiene than real religious significance

Is not correct at all. Circumcision is an essential part of the covenant Abraham made with YHWH (in my opinion, a demon) to exalt his people as the Chosen Nation.

The hygienic explanation seems quite plausible as a starting point, although I still regard it as mutilation.

McKitty
27 June 2012, 11:24 AM
Hello,




Is not correct at all.



Well, no offense, but it became a part of my culture of today and as I said many of my non religious friends have done it for this reason, and I trust their sayings more.

Nowaday, I mean now, in 2012, not in Abraham's time, today. It's religious only for the fex traditionnal jews/muslims practicing it, in western countries.

being circumcised is pretty common here and in many european countries among non religious people because it's more hygienic, I can ask any boy or any girls here, they all say that, and it's not because of religion anymore.


You or me or anyone else finding this barbaric of not, it's our own personnal opinion. Personally I think it's not barbaric if the boy is enough years old to choose by himself what he want, that all.

But it's in many cultures nowaday, and really pretty common, and not because of any religious reasons. As I said, it's for religious reasons only for the ones it concern, and they are less and the non religious.

Aum

Shuddhasattva
27 June 2012, 11:50 AM
Namaste

I must disagree with you, the cultural inheritance is through Abrahamism.

Just as this is the modern day, not the time of Abraham, this is not a time of nomadic life in the harsh deserts. There are no real hygiene reasons for circumcision, rather the reverse; hygiene reasons against it.

Believer
27 June 2012, 11:56 AM
Namaste,

....but it became a part of my culture of today and as I said many of my non religious friends have done it for this reason, and I trust their sayings more.
I fully accept that and have no problem with people having it done or opting not to do it. That is a personal choice. If somebody feels cleaner that way, by all means have it done. BUT, muslims do it as part of their religion, and each one of them gets it done, no exceptions. That is the only thing I was trying to bring out. Peace!

Pranam.

McKitty
27 June 2012, 01:56 PM
Hello,

Please...Some Hindu asked westerners not to intervene vehemently on the treads talking about Bharat politicals/religious/cultural issues. I cannot argue you are totally wrong on a cultural tread about Bharat, because I am no expert, and as Hindu you know more about it.

I will still have my personnal opinion and express it, but I will certainly not try to prove you absolutely wrong because, being Hindu, you are daily facing this cultural particularity, know how your family/friends/people around you behave with this cultural particularity.

Please, consider too that concerning a part of nowadays western culture, the culture I'm born in and live in, I certainly know what I am talking about. And if I am no expert in Bharat, you are not expert of France, or Germany.

Yes, it is also and mainly for non religious people because of hygiene issues. Some men find that useful because when they pee, there is no piss that touch the skin or stay between the skin and the penis. Other mens have problems because their skin is too thigh, or not enough long, and they suffer daily because of the clothes and when they erect. That's another reason why some men prefers to do this.

I am not making that up, this is true, and it's pretty common for mens in my country, and in some european countries, to do that for these reasons, regardless of religious reasons.

This is a part of my culture, my country did not react to it because it's a common thing and not considered barbaric when men choose to do it, that's all.

Doing this to a little child without his consent is not good, I agree. But if a man choose to do it, religious reasons or not, I don't see any problems.

I know there's no fight attended but I'm surprised by the answers of some Hindus. I mean, it's certainly choking in your country or culture, I can understand. But you are no expert in my country, nor in my culture, so why saying "you're lying" so vehemently ? I wouldn't take any time to made something up for a so stupid subject.

Go to any french forum talking about the subject, it will comfirm what I'm saying. I respect the personal opinion of everyone, but remember that if I'm not proclaming myself knowing Bharat better than a Hindu, you don't have to proclaim yourself knowing better France than me.

Shuddhasattva
27 June 2012, 02:34 PM
Namaste

This is not a cultural issue. This is a scientific issue. There is no hygienic reason for circumcision. There might have been in the era of mass-scale warfare, especially trench warfare, or with desert nomads, but these reasons are past.

Moreover, the small, small, small number of men who might rationally choose circumcision for the reasons you mentioned are just that - a small number, compared to the overwhelming majority of baby boys who are circumcised either because of religion, or because of how religion has influenced the medical establishment.

I do not agree with the mentioned poster's request, because I consider external, critical perspectives to contain in their objectivity, however mistaken due to a lack of external or internal information, a vital role in humanism - which I consider to be the rational, filtered incorporation of critical views by a society.

Therefore, I find no qualms whatsoever in speaking about what you consider to be a "French/German" (presumably because that's what your exposure is?) cultural issue. It's an issue across the Western world, and the Middle East, and anywhere else where this barbaric practice is still upheld on spurious grounds.

Namaste

Shuddhasattva
27 June 2012, 02:40 PM
Namaste

Also, I want to say something that should be obvious, but somehow due to the confusion of the modern discourse, isn't.

Babies, even newborns, have memory. It's not a recording, episodic memory as we think of in a more adult sense, it's memory which consists of impressions; they do not remember incidents, but the impression is made, the mark is left. It influences the developmental process and the future outcome of the mind.

Circumcision is traumatic mutilation. They may not remember, but the impression is made, and it is one I think that anyone who considers this fairly will see as deeply negative.

Controlling for other factors, I am willing to bet heavily that circumcised people (at least, those circumcised without their consent/will), are on the whole more violent and emotionally confused than uncircumcised people.

Believer
27 June 2012, 02:45 PM
Om Shanti Shanti Om

If this is a German national issue, then why did ONLY the muslim/jewish groups object to it?
Why did the general population of Germany not object?
It is purely a religious issue for muslims, whether we agree or not.
We are not really talking about Germany here, but only about the muslims in Germany.
But, so far as I am concerned, have other limbs amputated too while one is there with the doctor.
Maybe have the rear hole plugged too, for hygiene.
McKitty, you are confusing Hindus talking about muslim practices, to our talking about the German (or French) people. That is not the issue here.

Om Shanti Shanti Om
-

philosoraptor
27 June 2012, 02:51 PM
I feel bad for the children. The government is naive if they think that banning this practice is going to stop it. What will happen instead is that people will get it done, but underground and by practitioners of questionable ability. Expect higher rates of wound infection, genital injury, etc...

Not that I particularly care for the practice either... just sayin is all.

McKitty
27 June 2012, 03:00 PM
Hello,

I understand you opinions, however, I still believe that it's the choice of a man, not our. It's not entirely good, but it's no entirely bad. It's everyone's opinion, a man want to do it for allah? It's his choice, not mine. Another man think it's more hygienic ? Well, let him be, I have no reason to object.

Again, I am totally against doing this to newborns, it's clear. No baby have the hability to make choices, and they are more subject to pain and memory.

But if a man, responsible of his choices, want to do this for a reason or another, well, the pain duration is 7 days. After, he have no problem.

I ate a apple tonight. It's my choice. Because I think it's healty. If one day a guy of green peace make a law to forbid me to eat apples, telling me it's not good for health because full of industrial products, I will say to him "why do you care ? It's my choice, I have my reason, I want to eat apple, deal with it! "

When it's the choice of a man, responsible of his actions, I don't see any problem. It's absolutely none of my concern.

When it's done on a newborn without it's concern, yes, I do not agree with that.

What is EVEN more barbaric it's this practice on woman. For a man, cutting this piece of skin bring some pain, the pain soon dissapear, and the man can live his life without caring.
Men forcefully cut women's clitoris to make them suffer, to cut those woman from any pleasure. Plus, it's very unhealthy, and painful for ALL life.

THIS is the standart of "barbaric" for me. A woman get a lifetime of suffering and have no choice, nobody care. A man have the choice to cut his little piece of skin, he can justify all he want for doing this, it's only a choice depending on a individual, and everybody make big noise for it !

Again, I am talking about mens or boys wanting to do this for their own reasons, and this is a common thing here. I am, like you and since the beginning, against this practice on babies.

Aum

Shuddhasattva
27 June 2012, 03:00 PM
Why are you talking about men and choices when this is far more about little boys without choices?

Shuddhasattva
27 June 2012, 03:05 PM
I feel bad for the children. The government is naive if they think that banning this practice is going to stop it. What will happen instead is that people will get it done, but underground and by practitioners of questionable ability. Expect higher rates of wound infection, genital injury, etc...

Not that I particularly care for the practice either... just sayin is all.

This is a mixed bag. It's not necessarily true that banning a practice will further inflame it, although I could see this as a definite possibility. No doubt, many will still have the procedure done, with the accompanying risks mentioned by you.

However, the illegality (and hopefully, penalty) for this, and the risks and consequences themselves (son gets infection, have to take him to doctor, now getting deported...) may be a catalyst for a slowdown to Islamic immigration and population growth, and maybe even a trend in the other direction.

Islam is going to choke Europe within a few generations if this continues. McKitty, I know you meet Muslims who are nice, well-mannered and maybe even well-intentioned (something I ascribe to few people, Muslim or otherwise), the core of Islam that Muslims carry with them wherever they go, like an ark of the covenant, is never satisfied living in the House of Safety, but must turn everything into the House of Islam.

McKitty
27 June 2012, 03:19 PM
Islam is going to choke Europe within a few generations if this continues. McKitty, I know you meet Muslims who are nice, well-mannered and maybe even well-intentioned (something I ascribe to few people, Muslim or otherwise), the core of Islam that Muslims carry with them wherever they go is never satisfied living in the House of Safety, but must turn everything into the House of Islam.

Hello,

Yes Shuddhasattva I agree with you, and I know that. It's true that I know and accept that some muslims are good people and only want to live their faith the way they want without harming people. But I acknowledge they are not all like this...
Like you said, it's a mixed bag.
And I have no authority, no power to judge people. And I think, and politics aknowledge that too, that this is a very tough problem. Judging a religion that wide and that diversified is a real hard thing, because there are innocent people inside that can be targeted, and nobody want that.
Anyway...This is not my job, and I am not a soldier, so...What can be done.

In Europe, extreme politicians are slowly taking power. A Nazi political party was nearly taking power in greece. In Suiss, chocking advertisements were made everywhere, even in cinemas, showing that arabs are bad, they should die or being banned of the country, that white people were here first and are good...

Unfortunately, due to mixed opinions about the subject, it politically end up in such dangerous though...And that's not a solution, as they encourage extreme islam to hate them, they also encourage non extreme muslim to hate them.

And it goes in circle, and it will end bad.

Aum

Shuddhasattva
27 June 2012, 03:27 PM
"What can be done..."

For starters, constitutional amendments that the country will never acknowledge any religion's religious laws, and internally administered courts, insofar as they conflict with or pretend to supercede secular laws.

Eastern Mind
27 June 2012, 08:10 PM
Vannakkam: I was going to ask our Indian friends here what the history and current situation was in India, out of curiousity, but I found this .. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Map_of_Male_Circumcision_Prevalence_at_Country_Level.png so it basically says India is as far ahead as anyone. Canada, you are behind. The map pretty much corresponds to a map of Islamic countries.

Aum Namasivaya

Believer
27 June 2012, 08:25 PM
Namaste EM,

Is this map per a survey or per actual visual examination?
No one came to me for a physical examination before classifying me.
Just curious.

Pranam.

Eastern Mind
27 June 2012, 08:34 PM
Namaste EM,

Is this map per a survey or per actual visual examination?
No one came to me for a physical examination before classifying me.
Just curious.

Pranam.

Vannakkam: Since I never thought about it much recently until today ... here's another map. http://www.circumstitions.com/Maps.html The USA ain't doin' that well either. On a personal note, I made the mistake with the first son. He hollered and screamed so much that my second son didn't have to go through the ordeal. Sometimes it's live and learn ... unfortunately for my first son.

Aum Namasivaya

Arjuni
27 June 2012, 08:52 PM
Namasté,

I lack the equipment but, after ten years working on the clerical and laboratory side of medicine, I know more about it than I ever wanted. :p

Circumcision does have 'health reasons,' but those reasons are largely created by modern life:
-Timid and/or ignorant parents don't instruct boys in proper care of their genitals.
-The hectic pace of life means that some teens and men barely have time for a daily shower! much less any other self-care.
-For years, the primary treatment for phimosis has been circumcision, so some men who develop the condition won't see the doctor, for fear of needing surgery - thus putting it off until surgery's the only option. (Heck, both genders are less likely to visit a doctor when the problem is sensitive and/or embarrassing.)

I believe it's a barbaric Abrahamic anachronism, and a medically unnecessary surgical procedure - which both Eastern and Western medicine will tell you is a bad idea - and I object to the practice for two other reasons.

-The surgeon who explains the procedure to new, overwhelmed parents, is the same one who will be paid more if the procedure is done. It's in the doctor's own best interest to present circumcision as simple, painless, convenient, and hygienic. This is a bit like listening to your car salesman about fancy features on a new vehicle; it also strikes me as borderline unethical.
-Circumcision is the only surgical procedure I can think of, which is performed on a healthy baby to prevent later problems. I'll support it, as soon as Western hospitals institute a package deal of pre-hospital-discharge neonatal appendectomies, splenectomies, and tonsillectomies. Those organs can cause issues years down the line, too, so why not handle all of the messy possibilities in one go?

Bravo, Germany. Adult men may make this choice if they wish, but an infant cannot decide for or against it.

Indraneela
===
Oṁ Indrāya Namaḥ.
Oṁ Namaḥ Śivāya.

Seeker
27 June 2012, 11:10 PM
It is never a good idea to allow state to criminalize religious practices , as long as the practices aren't life threatening.

Several Indian parents pierce the ears of their female child when they are quiet young. How is that different from this? By degree of pain?

A little while ago, Norway criminalized an Indian couples way of child rearing , which was quiet a normal practice in India.

satay
28 June 2012, 12:34 AM
Admin Note

Namaskar,
After reflection, I realised that it was inappropriate for me as an admin to make those two posts since my tone wasn't right so I deleted them.

FYI in case you are wondering what happened to my posts.

Please carry on.

charitra
28 June 2012, 10:46 AM
I can see where it is going, it is leading to a ban on circumcisions of non muslim and non jewish neonates basically. Eventually the objecting 2 faiths will win the court battle, but then the millions of other boys, say the christians in Germany and more importantly in USA are spared of this unnecessary surgical procedure. In the west hygiene is taught in schools; it is blown out of proportion in uncircumcised boys/men, also, cancer is NOT common in Hindus anymore than the above mentioned two faiths.