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Thread: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

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    German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    Story here:

    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.

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    Quote Originally Posted by wundermonk View Post
    Story here:



    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.
    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.

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    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~
    ~Aum Namah Shivaya~

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    Quote Originally Posted by McKitty View Post
    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.

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    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

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    Namaste,
    Quote Originally Posted by Eastern Mind View Post
    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?
    Last edited by Believer; 27 June 2012 at 09:09 AM. Reason: Added the note to EM

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    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.

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    Hello,

    Quote Originally Posted by Shuddhasattva View Post

    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
    ~Aum Namah Shivaya~

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    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.

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    Re: German court rules circumcision is bodily harm

    Namaste,
    Quote Originally Posted by McKitty View Post
    ....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.

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