A German court has outlawed circumcision done for religious reasons.
Circumcising young boys on religious grounds causes grievous bodily harm, a German court ruled Tuesday in a landmark decision that the Jewish community said trampled on parents’ religious rights.
The regional court in Cologne, western Germany, ruled that the “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents”, a judgment that is expected to set a legal precedent.
And a hugely important one. Think forced marriage, think child marriage, think FGM, think of denying children medical care. Maybe bodily integrity will be defined more narrowly, so that it wouldn’t apply to child marriage – but child marriage ruins girls’ bodies and lives (think fistula), so maybe it will apply.
The case was brought against a doctor in Cologne who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy on his parents’ wishes.
A few days after the operation, his parents took him to hospital as he was bleeding heavily. Prosecutors then charged the doctor with grievous bodily harm.
The decision caused outrage in Germany’s Jewish community.
The head of the Central Committee of Jews, Dieter Graumann, said the ruling was “an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination.”
The judgment was an “outrageous and insensitive act. Circumcision of newborn boys is a fixed part of the Jewish religion and has been practiced worldwide for centuries,” added Graumann.
“This religious right is respected in every country in the world.”
Yes, and it shouldn’t be. There shouldn’t be a “religious right” to mutilate your children.
Mind you, one could wish it hadn’t been a German court…