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Oct 01 2013

A big applause to Nordic countries for taking historic steps to ban circumcision.

Nordic countries are going to ban circumcision. Wow, what a good news!

Yesterday, during a meeting in Oslo, Nordic ombudsmen for children, Nordic paediatricians, and paediatric surgeons agreed a resolution urging their national governments to work for a ban on non-therapeutic circumcision of underage boys.
The the children’s ombudsmen from the five Nordic countries (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland), along with the Chair of the Danish Children’s Council and the Children’s spokesperson for Greenland passed a resolution to: “Let boys decide for themselves whether they want to be circumcised.”

The ombudsmen concluded that: “Circumcision without a medical indication on a person unable to provide informed consent conflicts with basic principles of medical ethics.” They found the procedure “to be in conflict with the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child, articles 12, and 24 (3) which say that children should have the right to express their own views and must be protected from traditional rituals that may be harmful to their health.”

Dr Antony Lempert, a GP and spokesperson for the UK Secular Medical Forum (SMF) applauded this historic resolution and urged the UK and devolved Governments to work towards protecting all UK children at risk of forced genital cutting.
He said: “This important statement by the Nordic child protection experts is grounded in common sense. Children’s basic rights to bodily integrity and to form their own beliefs should not be overridden because of their parents’ religious or cultural practices.”

Dr Lempert argued that, “with an increasing awareness of serious irreversible harm caused to boys and girls from forced genital cutting it is time for the genitals of all children to be protected from people with knives and strong religious or cultural beliefs. There can be no justification for healthy children to be forcibly cut. All children deserve society’s protection from serious harm.

The world should learn from the Nordic countries how to ban non-therapeutic, nonsense circumcision of underage boys. Children’s rights must be protected. We adults do not have the right to impose our superstitions, religious belief and madness on our children and abuse, or mutilate them. It is a nasty crime against children.

Many societies banned and attempted to ban circumcision since ancient times. Doctors have been opposing circumcision. A ban on circumcision is urgently necessary to protect children’s right. By the way, there is no doubt that all forms of female genital mutilation must be banned everywhere.

The human right to bodily integrity is more important than the human right to freedom of religion. Religious tradition is a poor excuse to subject a baby to circumcision. People started practicing circumcision long before the birth of monotheistic religions. The risks of circumcision are many, infection, necrosis, gangrene, BXO, urinary tract infection, urinary retention, meatal ulceration or stenosis, urethral fistula, hypospadias or epispadias, lymphedema etc. Circumcision also affects sexual function and desensitizes the penis. Seriously, how many diseases do we need to ban circumcision?

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  1. 1
    Turi

    Germany had the chance to do this a short time ago. But it was shot down, even without a diskussion, by all big parties, and an “emergency” law explicit allowing circumcision for traditional reasons was passed.
    It was a sad story :(

    1. 1.1
      sponor

      In particular: German legislation was forced to deal with this, because a German court had decided that circumcising for other than medical causes has to be seen as “malicious wounding” (for the record, I’m no lawyer – maybe you’d have to call it something else).
      While this decision was in perfect accordance with the view of jurisprudence, the Islamic and Jewish communities went berserk. (“No Jewish life possible anymore” — You cannot haul out bigger guns in a German debate.)
      Hence, blatantly ignoring the objections from paediatricians, secularists, child-welfare activists, etc., this (technically bad) law was passed.

      The next interesting twist might come when some crazy parents cite this law to have their daughter “innocuously” circumcised…

      1. Sir Mordred

        What I found rather interesting in the discussion after the initial court decision was the strong support Jewish and Islamic communities got from the Christian churches.

        I have the impression when any kind of religious privilege gets threatened, the major cults tend to forget their disagreements…

    2. 1.2
      Diogenes

      Male circumcision eliminates a small covering of the head of the penis, leaving the penis fully functional. The part removed is not needed. Millions of years ago, it served to protect the head of the penis, when primitive man evolved out of equatorial Africa where clothing was not used, leaving the highly sensitive head of the penis exposed to wind, sun, and high brush. Today, men’s clothing protects better than the foreskin. This is like our toenails, which are also an evolutionary remnant from our earlier ancestors that needed toe claws to climb trees.

      Female circumcision removes the entire clitoris, which is still needed today, just as it was needed millions of years ago. Removal deprives the female of a significant part of the pleasure of sexual intercourse. The clitoris is still needed to help propagate our species. Removing the clitoris is not like removing the male foreskin. It is like removing the entire head of the penis.

      Medical research has proved that the foreskin is unhealthy. This is because the foreskin allows bacteria and viruses to grow under the foreskin, unless it is frequently washed by pulling it back and cleaning underneath it.

      Several valid and large studies have proved that circumcised men are significantly less likely to have penile cancer and their mates are significantly less likely to have vaginal or uterine cancer. Adult male circumcision in Africa has caused a huge reduction in the transmission of the HIV virus that leads to AIDS. The results of independent studies were so dramatic that the researchers were required by medical ethics to advise the control groups of the results before the full proposed length of the research had elapsed, so the control groups would be permitted to elect circumcision.

      1. Rune

        While some of what you write is technically true you ignore some important fact. Lets go through them:

        “Today, men’s clothing protects better than the foreskin.”
        This is directly false. The foreskin helps keep the head of the penis moist. Men who a circumcised are prone to dry skin on the forehead which can lead to cracking of the skin – this is quite painful.

        “Removal deprives the female of a significant part of the pleasure of sexual intercourse.”
        This is actually also the case for the foreskin. Studies have show that men who a circumcised have a harder time getting an orgasm and their female partners ALSO have more difficulty getting an orgasm (likely as a result of what I describe above).

        “Medical research has proved that the foreskin is unhealthy. This is because the foreskin allows bacteria and viruses to grow under the foreskin, unless it is frequently washed by pulling it back and cleaning underneath it.”
        True – so teach your sons to wash beneath the foreskin! The same argument could be made for hands, but we don’t amputate those…

        “Several valid and large studies have proved that circumcised men are significantly less likely to have penile cancer and their mates are significantly less likely to have vaginal or uterine cancer.”
        True, but the number of people saved from getting cancer is statistically lower then the number of male children who die from circumcision (YES, male children do die from circumcision – it is rare, but so is penile cancer!)

        “Adult male circumcision in Africa has caused a huge reduction in the transmission of the HIV virus that leads to AIDS.”
        True, but condoms are EXTREMELY more effective. Why mutilate male children for a slim reduction when teaching them about save sex is MUCH more effective? Also note that this is about ADULT circumcision. I have nothing against that, since the men made their own choice – the children have no choice!

      2. Mario

        Diogenes,

        What you have written here is inaccurate. Circumcision does not remove a small covering of the head of the penis. It actually removes a large part, about an area equivalent to a 3×5 index card in an adult. It is also an area representative of about half of the erogenous tissue of the penis, and it also removes about half of the frenelum.

        There are multiple types of female circumcision. Type 1 is analogous to male circumcision. It removes the clitoral hood and parts of the inner labia. If you watch a porn or educational video of a female pleasuring herself you will see that much of the self pleasure is directed to the clitoral hood. This part is completely removed in a typical male circumcision.

        This results in a violation of genital integrity for the mutilated male who did not choose this amputation. There is no telling whether or not the male would choose such a religious procedure for himself. Any medical benefits are minimal and in no way justify amputation of a healthy and functional part of the body. -fyi

  2. 2
    Ally Fogg

    I think the headline and intro gets a wee bit ahead of the story here, Taslima:

    “…agreed a resolution urging their national governments to work for a ban “ doesn’t mean that the countries are actually going to agree to introduce a ban.

    But it is a great step forward and certainly to be applauded nonetheless

    1. 2.1
      Taslima Nasreen

      Thanks Ally. I noticed that too. Is changed. : )

  3. 3
    Lassi Hippeläinen

    As Ally Fogg noted, there is no ban yet. Nordic countries use Civil Law, which means that an expert opinion has no legal power. The ombudsmen don’t even have the right to propose legislation. (In Common Law countries they could have more direct influence via courts.)

    The ombudsmen can only suggest the governments to start drafting laws, which must then pass trough the parliaments. It will take years, and may not happen unless some loopholes are added. There is no feeling of urgency anyway, because in Nordic countries only a small fraction of boys get mutilated. It is not a regular procedure for newborns, as it is in the USA.

    But still, a good thing.

  4. 4
    Phillip Helbig

    “Religious tradition is a poor excuse to subject a baby to circumcision. People started practicing circumcision long before the birth of monotheistic religions.”

    True, but irrelevant. The problem—and that was why the ban failed in Germany, though Germany’s own exaggerated sensitivity to the Jewish community played a large role (the case came about because of a Moslem boy, but it is clear that any law would have to apply to all religions)—is that people do justify it in the name of religion. Religious fundamentalists are not interested in the opinions of enlightened historians.

  5. 5
    Phillip Helbig

    The real question is how this law will be enforced, especially since the Nordic countries have been tending towards more “religious freedom” recently. The only way to enforce it is to require regular medical examinations of all children and, if a circumcision is detected and there is no medical reason for it, take the child away from the parents, forever. This won’t help the child in question, but it might be a big enough deterrent. Fines won’t work, since many people who mutilate their children are too poor to pay them.

    What about people who take their children out of the country for circumcision where it is legal? The laws would have to apply based on country of residence—a slippery slope, since normally laws apply to everyone in a particular country, whatever their status there.

    Will their be back-room circumcisions, with the attendant problems?

  6. 6
    Shariff Gora

    Is this practice (circumcision) only in Islam or any other religion also follows it? If it is only in Islam they will never stop this.

    1. 6.1
      colnago80

      They inherited it from the Jews. Incidentally, Yeshua ben Yusef of Nazareth, the Christian messiah, was circumcised on New Years Day, the 8th day after his birth on December 25th (day 1) and there is no record in the Christian bible of his complaining about it.

  7. 7
    colnago80

    Circumcision also affects sexual function and desensitizes the penis.

    Without getting into the moral aspects of male circumcision, I would like to respond to some of the claims made here by Dr. Nasreen. In particular, the desensitivity argument.

    Here is a link to an article with a h/t to Mike the Mad Biologist which seems to refute this argument.

    http://goo.gl/JrDkPV

    Money excerpt:

    Take, for example, the key rallying cry of intactivists: That circumcision seriously reduces penis sensitivity and thus sexual pleasure. Study after study after study has proven this notion untrue. Some men circumcised as adults actually report an increase in sensitivity, while many report no appreciable difference; virtually none noted any notable decrease. Men circumcised as adults also almost universally report no adverse effect in overall sexual satisfaction following the procedure. (That fits with what my colleague Emily Bazelon found when she asked readers for their circumcision stories a few years ago.) And genital sensitivity in response to erotic stimulation is identical in circumcised and uncircumcised men. Don’t trust individual studies? A systematic review of all available data on circumcision came to the same conclusion. Intactivists, then, aren’t disputing a few flimsy studies: They’re contradicting an entire field of research.

    1. 7.1
      tuqann

      @colnago80: Thanks for the “other perspective” and the citing of links. I come from a muslim family (but please, everybody, do not make assumptions about my beliefs, I mention the background to give a cultural reference) and circumcision is big in that culture of course.

      While I personally oppose circumcision as a religious obligation, I really believe that it should be a cultural/religious decision for the male involved, or the parents of the baby boy.

      in the presence of a certified and experienced doctor, circumcisions have no adversary affects physiologically speaking. All the bad ailments mentioned come about not from a successful and modern circumcision, but from botched ones where hygiene was not taken into consideration and/or the procedure was performed by an inexperienced/unqualified fellow.

      To ban a cultural practice like that will only be met with hostility and “stand your ground” campaigns. Besides, so far the only argument against circumcision is “if you don’t do it correctly you will hurt”. So? You can cause a life-threatening infection if you piece the ear of a baby girl without paying proper attention to hygiene. Should be ban ear-piercing as well?

      And quite frankly, from a purely aesthetic perspective, I think circumcised members look prettier and sexier. I’m glad my parents got me a circumcision (interesting note: mine was done in a hospital in Jordan, by a pediatric surgeon), and I certainly will do the same for my son if I have one.

      Look what we are discussing here: young male boys will be separated from their peers and have strangers examine their gentiles periodically to see whether they go back home to mommy & daddy or not?

      What about pre-school infants? what about those already circumcised? do we need to convince them they were victims of some sort of grievence? It seems to me not a lot of thought went into this unfortunately.

      1. Roy G

        ” I certainly will do the same for my son if I have one.”

        … Are you fucking kidding me? You’re going to cut off a healthy bit of your son because it LOOKS PRETTIER? You’re going to perform a medically unnecessary procedure that kills thousands every year because of aesthetics?

        You may believe that “it should be a cultural/religious decision for the male involved, or the parents of the baby boy.” I believe that it should be the decision of the male concerned, and ONLY the male concerned.

        The right of a child to not have bits cut off trumps the rights of the parents to cut bits off their children.

        1. colnago80

          You’re going to perform a medically unnecessary procedure that kills thousands every year because of aesthetics?

          Citation needed. The death rate among gentiles in the United States where 50% of them currently are cut (when I was born, it was about 90%) and such procedures are performed by interns or 1st year surgical residents in a hospital is practically zero.

          1. Roy G

            http://www.mensstudies.com/content/b64n267w47m333x0/?p=488e687276f346699601a0275fc5827b&pi=2

            “Baby boys can and do succumb as a result of having their foreskin removed. Circumcision-related mortality rates are not known with certainty; this study estimates the scale of this problem. This study finds that approximately 117 neonatal circumcision-related deaths (9.01/100,000) occur annually in the United States, about 1.3% of male neonatal deaths from all causes. Because infant circumcision is elective, all of these deaths are avoidable. This study also identifies reasons why accurate data on these deaths are not available, some of the obstacles to preventing these deaths, and some solutions to overcome them.”

          2. Roy G

            Also, remember that those deaths are in USA; how many do you think die in countries with less developed medicinal practices?

            “Thousands” may very well be a low estimate…

          3. colnago80

            I know nothing about this journal, particularly whether it is a peer reviewed medical journal (e.g. JAMA, NEJoM, etc.). I strongly suspect that it is not. However, ole Roy seems to have something of a reading comprehension problem. I was referring to procedures carried out in a hospital and performed by interns or 1st year surgical residents, which is the conditions under which the procedure is generally carried ou in the US; my impression is that the death rate under such conditions is practically zero. The figures referred to in the linked article appear to include all such procedures, including those performed by midwives and mohels outside a hospital environment.

          4. Roy G

            “Roy seems to have something of a reading comprehension problem”

            Excuse me?

            I said: “You’re going to perform a medically unnecessary procedure that kills thousands every year because of aesthetics?”

            You wanted a citation and said: “The death rate among gentiles in the United States where 50% of them currently are cut (when I was born, it was about 90%) and such procedures are performed by interns or 1st year surgical residents in a hospital is practically zero.”

            I gave you a citation and you suspect that my source is rubbish? The article linked to was published in Thymos, a peer-reviewed journal, which you could have found out in less than a minute by looking at the linked page.
            You say that you were referring to a specific subset of procedures, as if that invalidates my claim that globally, thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, die every year because of a medically unnecessary procedure?

            What the hell are you on about?
            I give you a peer-reviewed citation that every year more than a hundred boys die as a result of circumcision in the US alone, and you move the goal posts, ad hoc me, and argue from ignorance? Well done!

          5. colnago80

            Re Roy G

            Here’s what I said in my comment that started this subthread:

            The death rate among gentiles in the United States where 50% of them currently are cut (when I was born, it was about 90%) and such procedures are performed by interns or 1st year surgical residents in a hospital is practically zero.

            You said I moved the goal posts. I did no such thing. Not only do you have a reading comprehension problem, you are a putz.

            The issue is, how many infant male deaths attributable to circumcision performed by competent medical personal in a hospital occur? The linked article appears to include all such deaths, including those outside the subset outside the subset.

            Let me make it perfectly clear so that there be no misunderstanding that I am opposed to a blanket prohibition, other then cases of medical necessity. However, IMHO, the practice should be strictly regulated with the requirement that anyone performing the procedure should be at the least an intern or surgical resident, under the supervision of a licensed medical practitioner with the operation to be performed in a licensed medical facility such as a hospital, clinic or pediatricians office. Practices such as sucking the blood should be absolutely outlawed (the law proposed by Mayor Bloomberg in New York City and passed by the city council doesn’t go far enough) with violations included under the heading of child endangerment and subject to a term in the slammer.

          6. Roy G

            Here’s what I said in my comment that started this subthread:

            No, this subthread was started when tuqann said he would circumcise his son because of aesthetics, which lead me to say it was a procedure that kills thousands every year and you asking for a citation. The post where you said what you claim started this subthread is the same post you ask for the citation; when you ask me to give you a source for something I said, when you qualify a request with an anecdotal statement (or do you have a source for your “practically zero” statement?) I do not hesitate saying you are moving the goal posts.

            And about the deaths: The numbers I cited includes deaths following circumcisions made by “competent medical personal in a hospital”.

            Yet you still say it should be done?
            How many deaths are okay for you? One? Ten? Fifty? For me, one is too many.

            I, too, am opposed to a blanket ban, but I do want a ban on circumcising children.

            Why?
            Children die when this is done.

          7. colnago80

            Re Roy

            And about the deaths: The numbers I cited includes deaths following circumcisions made by “competent medical personal in a hospital”.

            I never said that it didn’t. You really are an annoying pissant. The question was, how many deaths of children due to complications of circumcision occurred after a procedure in a hospital. You can’t answer that because the citation in your post doesn’t break it out. I would be willing to bet that the answer is close to zero. Hell, even the botched procedure by the physician in Cologne didn’t result in the death of the boy.

            I guess that if you were cut, you would be looking for a lawyer to sue your parents, the hospital, the doctor, the nurses and anyone involved in the procedure. Don’t laugh, several years ago I read about a schmuck in, I believe Arizona, who was doing just that.

            You know, I really don’t give a shit about this issue. I am a lot more concerned about 100,000 people being killed in Syria over the last 2 years, 4 million others internally displaced, and another 2 million refugees in neighboring countries with no end in sight. that’s a lot more important then a minor operation.

          8. Roy G

            “You know, I really don’t give a shit about this issue.”

            Is that why you have posted, what, 10? 15? 20 posts on this?

            I’m curious, though… Why didn’t you answer how many deaths are acceptable? And how come you keep insisting that the number of deaths after hospital circumcision “is close to zero” even after I have linked you the research paper where the numbers are?

            But since I am an annoying pissant without reading comprehension I will quote from the paper I linked:
            “A West Virginia child, whose name was withheld, was born in 1996 without incidence and circumcised prior to hospital release. A few days later, the parents rushed him to the emergency room because he was having seizures and his penis had turned green in color. He died the next day from septicemia (Ballad, 1997).”

            “In a 2004 Vancouver, Canada, incident, one-month-old Ryleigh McWillis was sent home from the hospital immediately following his circumcision. He later bled to death, his disposable diapers absorbing the small amount of blood from his circumcision wound necessary to send him into hypovolemic shock (Newell, 2004).”

            Want more?
            “The medical literature is replete with reports of MRSA infections occurring first in hospitals and now in the community (Rabin, 2003; Klevens et al., 2007). Circumcised boys are at a higher risk for this “superbug” than intact (not circumcised) boys (Enzenauer et al., 1985),”

            The problem is that complications following circumcision often occurs after the child is released from the hospital. This, in turn, contributes to under-reporting of deaths caused by circumcision due to it not being the direct cause. Add the fact that circumcisions are often done on the advice of doctors and that parents want to convince themselves that they did what was best for the child, there is very little impetus to make a detailed report on what caused the deaths.

            If you had followed the link this annoying pissant without reading comprehension gave you, you could have read this yourself.
            You didn’t. You wanted to defend a practice that kills children.

            “You know, I really don’t give a shit about this issue.”
            I do. I am also capable of caring about more than one issue at the time, so I also care about Syria. And feminism. And rape culture. And FGM. And many, many other things. The thing is, though, that compared to some other things, for instance Syria, this should be a very easy issue to fix:

            Don’t do it on children. Wait until they are old enough to decide themselves.

            Children die because of this. It’s not a hard decision.

      2. Phillip Helbig

        “Should be ban ear-piercing as well?”

        Of course. No-one, neither parents nor anyone else, should be allowed to make lasting changes to the bodies of their children: no circumcision, no piercing, no tattoos, no bound feet.

      3. colnago80

        A word should be said about what happened in Cologne. Apparently, a Turkish father took his 4 year old son to a Jewish hospital in Cologne, figuring, I guess that the medical practitioners there would know what they were doing. Had it been an American hospital, Jewish or otherwise, that probably would have been true as the procedure is quite routine in this country. Unfortunately, it is quite rare in Germany as in other central and eastern European countries and so the medical practitioners there have little experience. Apparently, the medical practitioner had never performed the operation before and didn’t know what he was doing, and botched the job. It is a relatively minor operation but even minor operations can be fouled up if the physician doesn’t know what he is doing.

        I suspect that the procedure is also quite routine in Jordan and thus the physician had performed it previously and thus knew what he was doing.

    2. 7.2
      Acolyte of Sagan

      Regarding the de-sensitising issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BgoTRMKrJo4

    3. 7.3
      circumsliced

      Seriously, fuck you colnago80. I have no reaon to be civil towards you because i remember pretty well how it was before i got circumsized (in my teens) and i know you are lying. I don’t have to refute what Jopseph Stern have to say about it, perhaps he wants it to be true for his own sake and calling people “activists” tells a lot about where hes coming from. There are plenty of modern studies that claim exactly the opposite of what he says : it’s a very destructive procedure.
      Personally, i think it’s a barbaric procedure comparable to lobotomi : you cut something and its function will never return, it should be totally banned, and in for therapeutical reasons replaced with some kind of less destructive plastic surgery.

      1. colnago80

        Anecdotes are not evidence.

        1. indolentwretch

          Denial is not argument

          1. colnago80

            Yawn.

    4. 7.4
      Marcus Ranum

      Maimonedes, who was a proponent of circumcision, favored it because it desensitized the penis, or made sex uncomfortable.

      The bodily pain caused to that member is the real purpose of circumcision. None of the activities necessary for the preservation of the individual is harmed thereby, nor is procreation rendered impossible, but violent concupiscence and lust that goes beyond what is needed are diminished. The fact that circumcision weakens the faculty of sexual excitement and sometimes perhaps diminishes the pleasure is indubitable. For if at birth this member has been made to bleed and has had its covering taken away from it, it must indubitably be weakened.

      At least the old asshole told the truth.

  8. 8
    Phillip Helbig

    I would disagree, though, that this is the key rallying cry. Yes, it is a claim people make. (The more interesting question is the sensitivity of someone circumcised as an infant compared to someone uncircumcised, but this is a difficult if not impossible comparison to make.) However, the main issue is the right of an individual not to have, at least, lasting changes made to his body before he can consent. (This also goes for pierced ears, of course.)

    1. 8.1
      tuqann

      I am intrigued by your perspective, and I think that if there should be really any argument against male circumcision that it would be exactly that.

      However I fear that ultimately, we will have to go back to the frightful question: where would the parents’ rights to their child end? And who’s rights are beyond that point? The “community”? The “state”? The “individual”?

      I don’t want to give the impression of a slippery slope argument here, but I genuinely interested about the legal rights parents have over their children (I am personally a big supporter of child-bearing license module, not to control quantity, but to control quality).

      is the criteria here is to ensure the child has a “healthy upbringing” to maximize their potential to become contributing members of the community? Are we going to do a legislative solution or try to combat the mentality/cultural force?

      Female circumcision is terrible because it’s based on out-dated and down-right erroneous misconceptions about the female sexuality; very simply female circumcision is performed to rid the woman from the evils of lust so she can remain pure and faithful to her husband.

      We can ban female circumcision, but parents who believe that a clitoris is the ‘devil’s joystick” to control their little girl and make her into a cock-hungry whore will most certainly not give two-damns what the law says!

      I think social and cultural education is a lot better option than a legislative bombing run

      1. Ysanne

        Actually, in the US circumcision is so popular precisely because it was promoted heavily as a good way to prevent boys from the lustful evils of masturbation by making it less enjoyable.

        But ok, let’s go like for like:
        Would you find genital cutting of female babies in the form of parting the clitoral hood acceptable? I know women who had this done (one involuntarily in a balance beam accident) and they all say it led to a very enjoyable increase in clitoral stimulation.

        Or let’s get rid of the sex aspect:
        Would you find it acceptable to amputate the dangling part of babies’ earlobes if attached earlobes are considered preferable in a culture?

        I’d clearly say “no” to all of these, because they are all lasting alterations of a person’s body for no medical reason and without their consent, i.e. violations of their bodily integrity. Very simple. No cutting non-regrowing parts off anyone without
        a) them specifically consenting to it, or
        b) in a situation where it’s necessary to avert significant harm and consent can’t be given right then and there for practical reasons, but it’s reasonable to assume that it would be given.

        And just to counter the ear piercing example: They can heal, but I still think it’s wrong to pierce a baby’s ears, especially since I don’t see the point of doing something to a person before they consent when there’s no drawback whatsoever to waiting until they can decide for themselves.

        As to the sensitivity issue: I’ve had sex with circumcised and non-circumcised men, and the sensitivity of the glans in an un-circumcised penis is noticeably higher. Plus the foreskin itself can give lots of enjoyment. Doesn’t mean that sex without a foreskin is not fun, but you apparently feel more subtly with an intact penis.

        1. tuqann

          @Ysanne:

          I am neither for nor against physical modification/mutilation for performance reasons. I believe that modifying your body to get the most of it is very human.

          However this is not a cultural/religious matter anymore. If someday a company makes an artificial eye that is 100 times better than the natural human eye, would you approve this procedure for your child knowing that it will give them an advantage over the rest? What about if the government says it’s mandatory to upgrade your vision to the new “standard”?

          again, this is not an argument from consequence/performence, this is a **cultural issue**. This is akin to baptizing a newborn, in the sense that it gives the parents a physical and concrete way to bond with the child on a social level, as well as expose the child to their culture historically.

          And lastly, I am not sure how to take “feel more pleasure/stimulation” bit. I’ve had an incredible amount of pleasure using my penis, sometimes boarding on the painful. I’ve experienced different kinds of sensations ranging across the stimulation spectrum, and honestly I cannot see how having a foreskin would increase my enjoyment, especially that I personally find circumcised members to be “sexier”, so if anything if I gain my foreskin back I’m more likely to enjoy sex less instead of more, seeing how it will be less “sexy” for me.

          1. Anniemouse

            “Modify a body to get the most of it”? What in the world do you think slicing the foreskin off an infant’s penis (they are attached at birth) does for the infant to “get the most out of it”? This is a serious question.

            Why are you so opposed to allowing a man to decide for himself what mutilations to do to his body?

          2. Ysanne

            The point is not “would you approve an upgrade?”
            The point is “would you have an irreversible modification done on someone else’s body when they’re not in a position to even understand what’s done, let alone give or withhold consent?”
            The question is not “circumcise or not”. It’s “can parents force this on their children”.

            If you like your foreskin off, fine, get it removed. If you can’t imagine how a foreskin could feel good, that’s also fine for you. But who are you to force your preference for a modified body on someone else?
            I like my piercings — do you think that’s a basis to have my kids’ genitals and nipples pierced before they can say no?

  9. 9
    Abdul

    you will never be able to erdadicate it, it always exist

  10. 10
    Abdul

    even if there is no thereaupatic benefit, if religious law says it must be done then it must be done, and it is better done at early age preferably under the age of ten but it is not a requirement to be done while a baby

    1. 10.1
      Roy G

      Yes, we have to make sure that it is done before any hint of a consent can be given. That way the parents that wish to mutilate their children won’t get the burden of having to convince them to do it when they are old enough to consent.

  11. 11
    OptimalCynic

    colnago80: I can masturbate to orgasm by rubbing my foreskin against my glans. If a circumcised man can’t do that, then there is a sexual function he has lost as a result of his circumcision.

    1. 11.1
      tuqann

      @OptimalCynic: Just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s the standard feature for the rest of the species.

      You’re argument would be valid if you were to claim all uncircumcised males can achieve orgasms by rubbing their foreskins against their glans..

      But even then that’s not enough because you have to demonstrate that the result you achieved with your action cannot be achieved by different means, or else there is no advantage at all. Is the result ‘achieving an orgasm’? how is achieving an orgasm with your method different than achieving orgasm by a different method (say prostate stimulation, where you don’t need to touch the penis at all!)?

      1. colnago80

        Re tuqann

        is my information that semen contributions to sperm banks is now done by prostrate stimulation, rather then wanking.

        Re Roy:

        I seriously doubt that most American men have much difficulty in wanking off, despite the fact that most of them are cut.

        1. colnago80

          Ach, I meant Re. OptimalCynic, not Roy.

        2. KiloPapa

          Colnago80, thanks for taking time away from your wanking schedule in order to comment.

          1. colnago80

            Yawn.

        3. PatrickG

          Ok, I have two questions:

          1) Why does the man have to be prostrate? Who stimulates him? Is he on a floor or on a table?
          2) If, instead, you meant prostate, I must — through bursts of giggling and my own google results — demand confirmation that this is indeed the preferred method of semen collection. Since, again, I can’t find any references indicating this is the “preferred” — as opposed to a possible — method of stimulation.

        4. Ysanne

          I can confirm that getting wanked off requires lube for the circumcised men I’ve been with in order to avoid discomfort.
          Nothing of the kind was ever necessary with the un-circumcised men.
          From this admittedly limited sample, I’d say there’s a clear loss of function. Not surprising, seeing how circumcision was promoted as a measure against masturbation.

          1. colnago80

            Never had the slightest problemand neither do the millions of circumcised men in the USA. Never used lube.

          2. Ysanne

            Glad you’re wanking works fine.
            Good thing also that you personally have empirical data about millions of people you’ve never met and know more intimate details about them than I do about people I had sex with.

  12. 12
    Phillip Helbig

    “even if there is no thereaupatic benefit, if religious law says it must be done then it must be done, and it is better done at early age preferably under the age of ten but it is not a requirement to be done while a baby”

    In Islam, yes. In Judaism, infant circumcision is mandatory.

    Of course, an enlightened society would not say that if it is a religious law then it must be done.

  13. 13
    OptimalCynic

    Abdul: That argument can also be used for human sacrifice, which suggests that either ritual murder is fine or it’s a poor argument.

    1. 13.1
      Abdul

      im not talking about killing, im talking about a little dick with a head on it

      1. Roy G

        Male circumcision kills thousands every year, so actually, in some cases we are talking about killing, albeit indirectly.

        1. colnago80

          Citation needed. See my comment under 7.1.

  14. 14
    Abdul Alhazred

    I seriously doubt they will be able to enforce this.
    Will they even try against people likely to blow stuff up?

  15. 15
    Splicer

    When did genital mutilation become the norm for people who weren’t doing it for a religious reason? What was the impetus for doing it?

    1. 15.1
      colnago80

      There are numerous essays available on the Internet as to why it was ubiquitous in the United States (90% at one time), while practically nonexistent in central and eastern Europe. Google is your friend.

  16. 16
    Roy G

    Taslima, I so wish that this ban was put into effect, but…

    I will never happen. There is also a ban on FGM in Norway, but no-one has yet been charged with the crime, and with Norwegian politicians being cowards as soon as religious rights are mentioned, there may be only a handful that dares support this.

  17. 17
    left0ver1under

    What really galls me about this issue is that a lot of people who are 100% against female genital mutilation are also 100% for male genital mutilation, and will even try to rationalize and defend it. The most ridiculous “argument” I’ve heard is also one of the most common: “We know better than nature” (i.e. growing naturally isn’t enough reason not to cut it off).

    1. 17.1
      Roy G

      They obviously also know better than their creator (whom created Man in his image) since they feel the need to modify the creation as soon as possible. ;)

      1. colnago80

        The “Creator” also created humans with wisdom teeth and an appendix.

        1. Roy G

          And are any of those removed before they present problems? Are any of them removed in days-old infants?

          If the circumcision is medically required, go for it. If not, wait until the boy is old enough to consent. Is that really so difficult?

          1. UJJAL

            Roy G now you are getting in track to catch them.

            The basic intention behind circumcision is mentioned by Abdul in point 10. “…. if religious law says it must be done then it must be done,…” period. Gone all arguments, gone all science. Its a religious law which dictates, be it for bad or without permission. If at all there is a so called creator ( ha ha..even today ! ) it is a defective creation to create a full penis, wisdom tooth, appendix. Only religious believers thought that the creation is defective so cut a part of the penis. Science thought not to bother much about the wisdom tooth or the appendix and to amputate when at all required.

            Most of the posts spoke about some sexual pleasure or dis pleasure on circumcision. That was never the topic of Dr Taslima. It is only religion and its believers who dictate to cut a child’s penis without allowing the child to grow up and take his/her decision. If religion is so strong then just relax and allow the person to grow up and take a matured decision. Any fear ? Ha…Haaa.

            Religion doesn’t allow to use brains. please read Abdul’s post in point 10 over and over again. Though I am completely against religion still I like Abdul for his upright transparency.

            Only one message for Abdul, please read your religious book over and over again, carefully and understanding what you read. You have two choices, either you become a Taliban or you become an atheist. There is no midway for a true believer.

          2. colnago80

            The answer is yes. At least in the US, when there is abdominal surgery, the appendix is always removed. As for wisdom teeth, it is recommended by dentists in the US that they be removed before they start to cause problems.

          3. tuqann

            @UJJAL:

            Either Taliban or atheist? That’s rather extreme and rigid thinking. What are the chances that you’ve read the Koran in its entirety? Did you read the translation or the native-tongue version? Honestly how can you read the story of the Cave and go full taliban or go full atheist?

            didn’t it ever occur to you that the scope of the human experience that is to be alive and conscious and seeking a place in this cosmos can afford more than two “states” of black&white. That maybe, even to faithful muslims, faith is still a personal relationship between their “eternal souls” and “that soul’s maker”?

            Do you even understand the process that makes a Taliban think in the way they think as opposed to what one of the moderate majority of Muslims would think?

      2. left0ver1under

        I wasn’t referring to religious nuts. I was referring to atheists who take that position, who speak in favour male mutilation. One of them is an FTB blogger.

        1. Taslima Nasreen

          Who is that blogger?

  18. 18
    Ron Low

    There was mention of the law passed in Germany last year in response to the Cologne ruling. The new law explicitly permits religious circumcision. Remember that the law is unconstitutional for the same reason the Cologne court ruled against circumcision in the first place. The German Basic Law (their constitution) requires equal protection regardless of gender and regardless of religion.

    1. 18.1
      Ysanne

      So is anyone putting this to the Verfassungsgericht now?

      1. Phillip Helbig

        Unfortunately, only someone who is directly affected can do so. So, if we wait 18 years, maybe someone will.

  19. 19
    ResidentFinn

    Recent and interesting development in Finland, made the news yesterday. A father, who had his son circumisiced – without consent from boy’s mother – was fined last year by regional court. A slap on the wrist, nothing more. Now the top prosecutor in the country is appealing the case in High Court charging the doctor who performed the operation AND the father with GBH and is indeed seeking a prison sentence fo both. The charge is argued on basis of the EU convention on human rights and biomedicine, which clearly condemns removal of tissue from a patient that is incapable of expressing consent, and any removal of live tissue on other than strictly therapeutic grounds.

    I wonder how the defence is planning to argue the therapeutic necessity of cirmucising a four month old boy on the living room table…

  20. 20
    UJJAL

    @ Colnago80

    You are also right. Due to fear that religion may not convince a grown up matured person, circumcision is done at an early age without the consent of the child.
    Not only in US, almost everywhere where people depend on medical science doctors do the needful for wisdom tooth and appendix even attempting other surgeries. I mentioned that in my last sentence of the first para.

    @ Tuqann

    Ofcourse I read Koran, naturally the translation. If the translation is wrong you need to catch the religious translator. However very interesting, that there are so many korans and so many meanings can be derived of so many korans if at all. The threatening, the oppression, the biastness the temptations intolerence, in koran will either make you Taliban or atheist. No where in koran religion permits to be tolerent, please quote verse.

    Hope you have read koran, and the original one. Do you keep money in bank and also earn interest ? Did you ever tell a lie ? Do you know what pornography is ?…and so on I can continue….if your answer is yes then you are not following koran. I did not say the harsher ones. To hurt and attack a believer is NOT my goal, my goal is to request the believer to read there respective religious books. Also bible, also gita, full of the same things a bit toasted, a bit cooked, a bit raw, thats all.

    Basic question, why do only one religious community need circumcision because of religion itself ? If someone matured wants to hack off his penis altogether there is no harm but why take the advantage of a child being weak physically and logically to defend circumcision.

    1. 20.1
      tuqann

      You don’t follow the Koran but you assume you know what it means to follow the Koran, and therefore you can tell if somebody is really following the Koran or not? You have not read the book in its native tongue, but did you know it is a very critical point considering the cultural significance of the Arabic language to the religion of Islam. Linguistically speaking the Koran’s “miracle” is its language. But I digress:

      You conflate religi-spiritual faith with biblical literalism, which is simply erroneous. No religious law is immutable from a religious perspective, and that is true in Islam as well. Are you familiar with the abrogation concept, Al-Naskh? It simply means that allah acknowledges that no law can last forever, and that changes in the world will require changes in the law.

      As for citation, I’m not in the mood (nor have the time) to do all the research for you, so I will list a couple of examples where Koranic passages. However I will take the time to demonstrate to you your lack of knowledge and understanding of islamic concepts so that perhaps you do your homework next time and make stronger arguments:

      “Do you keep money in bank and also earn interest ? Did you ever tell a lie ? Do you know what pornography is ?”

      Islam has no problem with banks, and in fact there has always been a bank/treasury in the history of Islam. What Islam has a problem with is “profit generated by interest” and that alone! That is something you don’t need a bank for necessarily and can be a transaction between two individuals (the simplest example being loan-sharks).

      Islam also treats lying the same way every other religion, no scratch that, every other community or society that had ever existed in human history. Lying is bad, not from a moral perspective (because we can all cite anecdotes where lying was the good thing to do), but because lying always involves keeping somebody in the dark about something, and that can lead to conflicts and confrontations in the future, something that is not beneficial to the individual or the community.

      Lastly, about pornography; the earlier islamic community was more open about sex than the prudes we have today trying to filter porn or make it illegal. Let’s make the distinction here between “arousal of sexual nature” and “infidelity”

      Very simply, Islam has no problem whatsoever with arousal of sexual nature, of course as long as it is within the confines of holy matrimony (i.e. marriage). Early islamic practices encouraged enjoying your sex life, not neglecting your partner’s need (the prophet Mo is quoted in the Bukhari gosple to have said: “you [plural] cannot copulate with your wives before you’ve first kissed them on the mouth”, ). Between a woman and her husband, erotica and sexual stimulation is a duty.

      What most religions, especially the three Abrahamic ones, have a problem with is infidelity, and coveting the body of a woman who is not yours is considered as “cheating on your wife”. However watching porn with your husband is perfectly legal. So yes, you can mix and match, and interpret laws based on their current context.

      I think you are missing core information about the islamic culture and mentality, especially that it means to be a muslim.

      For the record I oppose the anthropic principle entirely and an avid supporter of secularism and globalization, just in case you think you’re talking to a “faithful muslim” guy or something.

      1. Raging Bee

        Are you familiar with the abrogation concept, Al-Naskh? It simply means that allah acknowledges that no law can last forever, and that changes in the world will require changes in the law.

        So you wouldn’t have any problem with changing the law WRT circumcision?

        Christianity has a similar principle: in the words of Jesus, “the Sabbath was made for Man, and not Man for the Sabbath.” What he meant was that human welfare comes first, religious law second.

      2. Raging Bee

        tuqann, based on what you’ve said here so far, I’m going to take a wild guess and say your culture is Islamic. If I’m wrong, I apologize for the mistake. But if I’m right, then you have FAR more to share with your offspring than the mere mutilation of his willie. Islamic culture gave us astounding advances in math, medicine, arts, architecture, and other areas that my European ancetors had to steal just to get started with that Renaissance thing we like to brag about. And their current pop music is better than today’s FM radio crap. Oh, and belly dancing. Believe me, you have plenty of awesome cultural links to share with your kids without having to mess up any body parts.

        Besides, I was circumcised too, and as “cultural links” go, it was utter crap, because a) I don’t even remember it happening; b) it wasn’t given to mark my passing some important test or anything; and c) it didn’t make me “better” or “special” in any way, and ish’t even connected with any of the things I learned or experienced anytime in my life. Circumcision is, AT BEST, ridiculously overrated.

  21. 21
    Raging Bee

    colnago80 blithered thusly:

    At least in the US, when there is abdominal surgery, the appendix is always removed. As for wisdom teeth, it is recommended by dentists in the US that they be removed before they start to cause problems.

    Note the words I’ve bolded for you, and then note how they make appendectomies and tooth-extraction significantly different from genital mutilation.

    1. 21.1
      colnago80

      As usual, the Fairfax fussbudget misses the forest for the trees. The issue raised by Roy was that the foreskin was “created” by the creator, with the implication that therefore removal was somehow not kosher. I responded that wisdom teeth and the appendix were also “created” by the creator. Of course, there was no creator and these bodily parts are a result of evolution. Our closest ancestors, the chimps, have 4 extra molars which they can accommodate because of their larger jaws. Humans have them because they were inherited from the common ancestor of chimps and humans, but because of the reduction in jaw size, they are no longer functional. Similarly the appendix was functional in the evolutionary ancestors of humans but has become non-functional in humans and, in fact, is a menace to health as the death rate from appendicitis was considerable before the advent of modern surgery. Try to keep up.

      1. Raging Bee

        You’re the one who’s (deliberately) missing the point about medical reasons vs. lack thereof.

      2. Ysanne

        colnago, just a side note: You may think yourself witty, but the way you’re phrasing your answers makes you look like an asshole, and an obtuse one at that. If that’s the impression you’re going for, or it’s just accurate, fine, but otherwise you just may want to lift your game.

        1. Marcus Ranum

          He’s actually quite proud of the gutter he wallows in.

  22. 22
    Raging Bee

    …if religious law says it must be done then it must be done…

    If a religious law says you have to do something harmful to an innocent person without good cause, then such law must be rejected and abandoned. The Gods gave us large brains so we could USE them.

    1. 22.1
      colnago80

      Unfortunately, the Fairfax fussbudget labors under the mistaken impression that circumcision, when performed by a properly trained physician/intern/1st year resident in a hospital is a harmful procedure. Under the conditions cited, he has failed to show that it is a harmful procedure. I posted a citation to a web site that cites a number of studies that purport to show that the claim of insensitivity is, at best, greatly exaggerated.

      1. Raging Bee

        Damaging, destroying or removing any part of a kid’s body without real medical necessity is, BY DEFINITION, harm, no matter how clean the scalpel is. Just like hacking off a kid’s arm is HARM, even if the axe is sterile and the would is promptly and properly bandaged up afterword. Is your nuke-happy chickenhawk mind really not able to understand this simple point?

        1. tuqann

          @Raging Bee
          I’m not sure I am entirely convinced by your definition of what “harm” is, nor what the similarity is between getting circumcised and having one of your limbs hacked off with an axe.

          It seems to me that you are unable to even consider thinking about circumcision in social and cultural context, trying to squeeze the conversation into a medical narrative. There is no point splitting medical hairs if you’re going to neglect the sole reason why the procedure is in demand in the first place!

          Circumcision is a cultural practice. It’s been around for a few thousand years, so arguing from science won’t do you any good because science isn’t the reason parents get their baby boys circumcised.

          You can call it barbaric, sure, but honestly if circumcision is barbaric to you, then where does child-rape, genocide or military torture rank on your scale?

          Is circumcision any more barbaric than say; keeping a creature locked in a cage since the moment it is born, force feeding it until it reaches a certain body-mass, then slaughtering that creature in the most industrial, impersonal, none-environmentally conscious method possible?

          exactly what are you calling barbaric here? That two parents happy about conceiving a child, wanting to share their cultural heritage with that offspring in the same manner their parents have shared it with them?

          1. Raging Bee

            If your definition of “harm” does not include the unnecessary destruction or removal of parts of a person’s body, then the word has no meaning, your principles aren’t even remotely similar to mine, and we’re not speaking the same language. There’s no point in trying to discuss anything with someone who doesn’t even share that most basic principle of right and wrong.

            It seems to me that you are unable to even consider thinking about circumcision in social and cultural context…

            No, and I don’t think of lynching in “social and cultural context” either. You got a problem with that?

          2. tuqann

            I don’t have a problem with your inability to simulate different cultural contexts in your mind.

            I can think of Lynching in a cultural and historical context, yes. Most modern societies have in their history this kind of xenophobia.

            But understanding something (or trying to understand it) from a cultural context doesn’t mean that I agree with it, or think that it shouldn’t be reformed or replaced by something else.

            “There’s no point in trying to discuss anything with someone who doesn’t even share that most basic principle of right and wrong.”

            I do not share the most basic principle of right and wrong? Seriously? You are willing to toss the entire sum of my humanity out the window because I didn’t agree with you circumcision is an abominable barbaric blood ritual that murders thousands of babies every day?

            Because being circumcised means something to me culturally, and I’m looking into sharing that cultural link with my offspring, you are willing to go as far as demonize me and attack me like I’m some sort of monster?

            The way you assume the stance of moral superiority had me thinking I was talking to an Arch-Bishop or a Grand Mufti or something.

            You’re right, we can’t have a conversation or a discussion here, but it is not for the lack of mutual vocabulary or even a mutual moral/ethical compass; it’s because you are a self-righteous ass.

          3. Raging Bee

            But understanding something (or trying to understand it) from a cultural context doesn’t mean that I agree with it…

            If you don’t agree with it, then why are you trying to excuse it? Why are you trying to attack us for objecting to it?

            It’s perfectly possible to understand something in its “cultural context” (whatever the fuck that really is) and still be able to say that the harm done outweighs “cultural” considerations — just as the harm done by slavery outweighed the “cultural context” that maintained and depended on it.

            Unnecessary mutilation of minors is WRONG, for both medical and moral reasons; and the way to right the wrong is to describe it honestly, without biting our tongues in deference to anyone’s obsolete beliefs or customs.

            And besides, the people who support such mutilation don’t give a shit about our culture, so why should we give a shit about theirs?

          4. Raging Bee

            Because being circumcised means something to me culturally, and I’m looking into sharing that cultural link with my offspring…

            Is that ALL you have to share with your offspring? Seriously? Why can’t you share something more useful, like an education, a skill, tales of the ancestors, an appreciation for this or that form of music, or a fun and challenging activity like swimming or cycling? Those are some of the things my dad shared with me when he was alive. If an act of mutilation is the most important “cultural link” you have to share with your kid, then your “culture” is totally fucking bankrupt and doesn’t deserve to be continued.

          5. Ysanne

            Bad argument:
            “There are acts of greater barbarism so an act of moderate barbarism is OK.”
            Nope, that’s not how it works.

            Also, why is it so extremely hard to understand that the right to bodily integrity is a) a thing and b) applies to children as well as adults? You’re not allowed to break other human rights of your child for religious/cultural/whimsical reasons, why would the kid’s right to their own body parts be an exemption to that?

        2. colnago80

          Comparing removal of the foreskin with chopping of an arm is comparable to comparing someone who swipes some silverware at a restaurant with someone who sticks up a bank brandishing a gun. The Fairfax fussbudget has no sense of proportion.

          1. Raging Bee

            Both of those acts are STEALING, both are illegal for the same good reasons, and both deserve to be punished, whether or not they’re punished exactly the same. Just like with a small act of bodily mutilation vs. a larger act of mutilation. Your point…?

          2. colnago80

            Re the Fairfax fussbudget

            And swiping some silverware from a restaurant is a misdemeanor that will lead to, at mos,t a fine while armed bank robbery is a felony that can get the miscreant 9 years in the slammer. See Richard Steven Hack.

          3. Marcus Ranum

            The Fairfax fussbudget has no sense of proportion.

            … says the expert in moral equivalences like, “A is doing less genocide than B, therefore B is OK” You profoundly do not “get it” when it comes to proportion, so your lecturing Bee is really silly.

          4. colnago80

            Re Marcus Ranum the Pennsylvania pinhead

            I think you meant that A is doing less genocide then B, therefore A is OK.

  23. 23
    dmgregory

    I’m very pleased to see this. Although my experience is nothing compared with what others have experienced, including female genital mutilation, my own circumcision resulted in some complications that have had an impact on my sex life and self-esteem into adulthood. It’s maddening to me that it was done for no medical reason, without my consent.

    I hope to see more initiatives like this.

  24. 24
    UJJAL

    This is exactly what happens when un-scientific approach supersedes scientific approach, Confusion. If you cannot convince, confuse.

    Any member here have any doubt that 2 molecules of hydrogen and 1 molecule of oxygen will ever and always form water and nothing else but water, wherever. I hope there is no doubt. It is because the basis is scientific and not fictitious.

    @ Tuqann
    has primarily / apparently accepted by basic harmless notes on banking, lies and pornography. Whether we read the same koran or not doesn’t matter because the koran I read was not written by me or an atheist, but translated by some big long several words name having further long religious degrees. It is not composed like water which is sacrosanct. I must admit I have less knowledge on any inherent meaning of the religious books and honestly I do not care also for any inherent meaning it could have been written with. I only care to refer to the dictionary for words difficult for me. Every religion cast creed has its own core culture and mentality, but that does not qualify to attain a humane certificate. Child marriage in muslim, practice of ‘sati’ ( burning the woman alive in the same pyre of the husband ) in hindu or father can have sex with daughter in christian religions are ofcourse examples of extreme in humanity embedded within the religion and its followers.
    You avid support for secularism and globalization is surely respected Sir. Similarly your views which are parallaly supporting muslim religion and its intensions are clear double standard.
    @ Colango
    There is no point opening irrelevant windows. We can reach a decision only when we stick to the point.

    @ Raging Bee
    Cannot agree more to your every logic.

    We atheists will not get confused and allow the believers to remain amused in self interpreted versions. But wherever there will be inhumanity, we will strongly raise voice and object and applause a stand againt religion and in favor of humanity.

  25. 25
    giasuddin

    The custom of circumcision i.e. to cut off the loose skin of the penis is not necessary at all. It is not only unscientific, it is also a barbaric, painful and ghoulish practice. It involves risks also. Of course, it should be banned immediately. I want to express my thanks to them who raised this demand. It will be really a very good news if this demand is accepted and the circumcision is banned in the Nordic countries.

  26. 26
    tuqann

    @UJJAL: you said it yourself; you don’t care about the cultural/religious context of the text, so effectively, our conversation was a total waste of time (at least for me it was as I didn’t learn anything new or was introduced to new ways of thinking by talking to you).

    Then you want to pat me on the back for supporting secularism and globalization.

    You can keep your respect Sir because it doesn’t mean anything to me. You haven’t even tried to understand my perspective, evident by claiming/assuming things about me that contradict what I have expressed in earlier comments, but you’re willing to back a legislative initiative that will affect, greatly I might add, the lives of many of your countrymen.

    And then people wonder why social progress is moving backwards…

  27. 27
    tuqann

    Just a note to all you hard-core science lovers who hinge their entire argument on the combo: “it is not necessary/it can lead to health risks” to consider:

    1- Cultural rituals are not performed because they are needed/necessary. Some cultural stuff could have originated from a need, but the older the habit the more likely the reason it was created is no longer relevant to the current culture.

    2- Just because something is a health risk or can lead to death doesn’t mean society doesn’t tolerate it. All the developed countries regulate and supervise the sale and consumption of known carcinogenic substances.

    3- The notion of “barbarism” (or the appeal to emotions approach) is a highly relative term and if you are going to use it to support an argument, you first have consider how your version is different from the opponent’s version, and what is the significance of those difference.

    Because I think the reason you won’t convince somebody that circumcision is barbaric is the same reason why vegans couldn’t yet convince society to switch from the “barbaric and abusive animal slaughter industry” to a vegan diet.

    I’m just saying because so far I’ve yet to read in the comments or the article itself opinions or testimonies of circumcised males who are unhappy about it and wish they could get their foreskins back!The camps have been divided evenly: those who are not circumcised and think circumcision is barbaric, and those who are circumcised and think circumcision is okay. (and that one guy who will say he’s in neither camps but is speaking on behalf of all the dead baby boys who died due to botched circumcisions)

    1. 27.1
      Raging Bee

      The notion of “barbarism” (or the appeal to emotions approach) is a highly relative term…

      The harm done to children, and the lack of medical need or reason, is NOT relative.

      Because I think the reason you won’t convince somebody that circumcision is barbaric is the same reason why vegans couldn’t yet convince society to switch from the “barbaric and abusive animal slaughter industry” to a vegan diet.

      Actually, lots of people HAVE already been convinced on both counts, and there’s serious opposition to genital mutilation growing all over the planet.

      I’m just saying because so far I’ve yet to read in the comments or the article itself opinions or testimonies of circumcised males who are unhappy about it and wish they could get their foreskins back!

      I’ve read MANY such testimonies: by men whose unnecessary circumsisions were unnecessarily botched; by men who trace certain health or sexual problems to circumcision; and by men who don’t have serious problems but still resent being so harmed when they were unable to resist. The only reason you haven’t seen such testimonies, is because you’ve consistently chosen not to look for them. That’s kinda barbaric.

    2. 27.2
      Fluti

      Just a note to all you hard-core science lovers who hinge their entire argument on the combo: “it is not necessary/it can lead to health risks”
      Except that we are not hinging our entire argument on this combo. The MAIN argument against circumcision is neither medical, nor scientific. It’s moral and ethical. We are against it because it violates a BASIC human right that EVERY human has – the right to NOT have your body modified in ANY way by ANYBODY without your consent or without ANY emergency medical reason. Is it too hard a concept to grasp?

      You want to share circumcision as a cultural link with your offspring? Great, but do THEY want to get their share of it? Do you even understand the difference between SHARING and FORCING something upon somebody? Or do you think that if they are not able to complain then it’s fine?
      Why not wait until your offspring are grown enough to actually understand it, explain it to them, offer to share it with them and then let THEM decide what they want THEIR bodies to look like? Your children’s bodies are not your property. You have the responsibility to look after them and you can authorize medical intervbentions to save their life and health, however you do not have the right to redecorate them to you own liking for any religious, cultural or aesthethic reason.

      Of course if you are willing to deny a human right as basic as the right of bodily integrity then I have nothing more to say to you.

  28. 28
    UJJAL

    @ Fluti

    Perfect logic, on the nail, well written.
    Most of all that you said had been said here repeatedly. I also mentioned in my post no 24 that the topic is being confused. The issue is surely NOT pertaining to any medical fall outs, but repeatedly it is being dragged there. Believers are frightened that should the person grow up and object to circumcision then one major basis of religious autocracy will be defied. So best to ignore any consent and get to cut off a body part defectively created by their so called creator (?)

    @ Tuqaan

    See how you are attempting to confusing the topic :-
    ” @UJJAL: you said it yourself; you don’t care about the cultural/religious context of the text,..” (26) – you wrote.
    But I said – ” I must admit I have less knowledge on any inherent meaning of the religious books and honestly I do not care also for any inherent meaning it could have been written with.” (24)
    Well, you will not be able to confuse me or an atheist.
    I said and meant that I do not care to find any inner meanings in religious books. And why should anyone else do either ? Then they will create their own koran ! Neither have I attempted to teach any new thinking.
    The intolerence and misogynist thinking of koran is clearly WRITTEN in koran itself. I once again repeat, that after you read koran and want to truely follow it you have only two choices, either become an extremist Taliban or become an atheist. You are not given the freedom to choose a mid path or alter even a coma of koran, so how can you derive any interpretation of the book other than the meaning of the written words ?
    It is only an atheist who can even respect a believer for their seldom humanitarian views. Koran asks to kill a non-believer. Religion dis-allows all progress and commands to stick to only the respective religions made thousands of years ago “when the first fool met the first con man.”

  29. 29
    alanuk

    Just a thought.

    The Jews (or whatever they called themselves before they were called Jews) circumcised their males to distinguish themselves from the uncircumcised Gentiles (or whatever they called them before they called them Gentiles).

    Now Moslems, Americans, and others are in on the act. It now ceases to be something special. Rather like declaring every day to be Christmas.

  30. 30
    Ani J. Sharmin

    Good on them for taking this step forward.

  31. 31
    Erection

    Which penis you love Taslima – circumscribed or uncircumscribed ?

    1. 31.1
      Ron Low

      The only opinion that matters is that of the rational adult informed owner of the genitals.

    2. 31.2
      UJJAL

      @ Erection – no wonder your religious erection is harder, that is clear.

      1. Erection

        Yep. Always Hard.

        1. UJJAL

          So no reason wagging it around.

  32. 32
    Fiof

    It’s more than about time to stop barbaric acts for the sake of ignorant dark age traditions, if the individual wants to do so, it should be one’s own decision when one comes of age. Multilating an innocent is a crime.

  1. 33
    “it is time for the genitals of all children to be protected from people with knives and strong religious or cultural beliefs” » Pharyngula

    […] has the news: experts in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland are proposing a complete ban on circumcisions of all t…. Unfortunately, it’s a little premature to say it will happen: what we have right now is a […]

  2. 34
    "Forced Genital Cutting," and Jewish circumcision - Religious Education Forum

    […] function and desensitizes the penis. Seriously, how many diseases do we need to ban circumcision? source As a kid I, and almost every guy I knew, was circumcised early on, so anyone who was not was […]

  3. 35
    Nordic countries move towards banning circumcision « Deadline island

    […] From Taslima Nasreen: A big applause to Nordic countries for taking historic steps to ban circumcision. […]

  4. 36
    Circumcision in Religion | Thoughts, musings, and ramblings

    […] A big applause to Nordic countries for banning circumcision. (freethoughtblogs.com) […]

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