Cologne circumcision controversy heats up


Muslims and Jews in Germany were united in anger last week over a Cologne court ruling banning circumcision on boys not old enough to consent to it. Because both Muslim and Jewish boys are circumcised as infants, members of the two faiths argue that their religious freedoms have been trampled on. The verdict came after a controversial 2010 incident, in which a four-year Muslim boy suffered profuse bleeding two days after undergoing a botched circumcision at a Cologne clinic. Ever since, the city has been immersed in a heated debate over the practice. But the court ruled that a child’s “well-being” trumps his parents’ religious freedoms.

Condemnation came quickly. “Religious freedom cannot become the pawn of a one-dimensional ruling that further strengthens existing prejudices,” said Aiman Mayzek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany. Even the U.S. Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham H. Foxman weighed in, arguing that although the ruling isn’t explicitly anti-Semitic, “its effect is to say, ‘Jews are not welcome.’ ” Religious groups worry that the law will one day extend beyond Cologne, making the ritual illegal across the country.

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Cologne circumcision controversy heats up

  1. Circumcision is clearly a harmful act and should be considered a crime. Foxman is an ADL blowhard who just wants to keep getting paid to race bait. Here’s research from the University of Toronto on the subject: “This study showed that neonatal circumcision in male infants is associated with increased pain response in vaccination 4-6 months after surgery. The results support our previous finding of a higher pain response in
    circumcised than uncircumcised male infants duringroutine vaccination. We postulate that circumcision may induce long-lasting changes in infant pain behaviour because of alterations in the infant’s central neural processing of painful stimuli.
    Transmission of noxious afferent input from the periphery (eg, brought about by skin incision) to the spinal cord induces a sustained state of central neural sensitisation or
    hyperexcitability that amplifies subsequent input from the wound and leads to increased postoperative pain. The specific mechanisms by which noxious peripheral stimulation induces long-lasting central neuronal changes are not yet fully established, but the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid (NMDA) receptor ion-channel complex, excitatory aminoacids (eg, glutamate), and C-fibre neuropeptides (eg, substance P) have been implicated.”

  2. It’s illegal to cut off a girl’s prepuce, or to make any incision on a girl’s genitals, even if no tissue is removed, and even if the parents think it’s their religious right or obligation. Even a pinprick is banned.

    Why don’t boys get the same protection? Everyone should be able to decide for themselves whether or not they want parts of their genitals cut off. It’s *their* body.

  3. I have to say that no matter your feelings on circumcision (I’m personally opposed to it myself), that this ruling definitely over-reaches. Complications are extremely rare and are much more problematic the longer you wait to do the procedure. Essentially, this ruling states that you cannot be both Jewish and Muslim and be a citizen of Cologne.

  4. Wasn’t it MC Hammer who said “you can’t cut this”?

    After an article written at The Political Commentator last week discussing the ban on circumcision in Cologne, Germany, the Simon Wiesenthal Center has issued a statement of its own urging Angela Merkel to get the ban reversed.

    Read the article at The Political Commentator here: http://bit.ly/M1cspd

    Michael Haltman

    The Political Commentator

    New York, New York

    Twitter: @ThePoliticalCom

  5. When I was born, we lived in a small apartment in Bridgeport. Now I live in a 2-acre home in Weston, CT. I am a successful patent attorney who once commanded a Special Forces Signal Company (USAR) in the late 1970’s. I am a lecturer on law at various meetings and law schools, and have numerous articles published. I’ve been to senate victory parties in Washington and an Inaugural Ball. I do zumba and kickboxing four days a week, and I’ve been married for 26 years with a wife I love and two fine sons that I am very proud of. But I always knew that there was something holding me back — a pain, a lingering suffering, a long-term crime against me, a string of unpronounceable chemical issues I could never recover from — that has stalked me for decades and plagued my every waking and sleeping moment! Ahh. it was that circumcision that changed my life and made me less than I could be! Oh. If only there was a criminal law to protect me from my wicked parents and thousands of years of religious law! Wait a minute. I also had my tonsils out when I was a toddler. I don’t remember being asked about that. Or the immunizations I received. In fact when I was kid, I don’t remember being consulted much about anything. Including going to a house of worship I did not select. How much long-term debilitation did I trudge through because of all that! Wait a second minute. I think I prefer not having that foreskin — which seems to collect stuff in it which may raise other debatable medical issues. And I kind of like the idea of coming into the world yet to be finished — that we are here to improve the world. And, y’know what. My choice, when I was old enough to decide, would have been to have the procedure when I was 8 days old! For a third minute, something stinks in Cologne. If there was malpractice, the doctor should pay. Do you have to undermine two religions — which seems to be a fair reading here? After all, a short 70 years ago, there was that pesky Holocaust that, incldently, killed off most of my family. Never mind. OMG, Think of the wins Sandy Koufax sacrificed; the inability of Einstein to find the Unified Field Theory; and the vaccines Salk could have developed if they weren’t handicapped by that darn circumcision… [Normally I spend my time talking with some very smart Chinese folks looking to compete more effectively against the U.S. Today I’m on vacation, so I get to “chat” with the officious.]

    • Like most circumcised males, you are sadly ignorant of the sexual and mechanical function of the human prepuce. The prepuce is richly innervated erogenous tissue containing thousands of specialized sensory receptors such as Meissner’s corpuscles. Many of the most sensitive regions of the penis are needlessly amputated by circumcision. The prepuce also acts as a linear bearing mechanism, providing a unique gliding action during sexual intercourse. Removing healthy, functional tissue from the genitalia of powerless infants is cruel and irrational. This disgraceful practice is exclusively perpetuated by circumcised individuals as a means of psychological transference and this pointless cycle needs to stop. Bronze age religious blood rituals must never trump rational scientific judgment, contemporary medical ethics and the fundamental human right to bodily integrity.

      Dr Christopher Guest MD,FRCPC
      Barrie, Ontario, Canada

    • What does this diatribe have to do with the rule of law? You claim to be an attorney. If you are, why don’t you discuss the verdict. The court decided that under German law, a citizen’s right to wholeness is more important than the religious views of that person’s guardians. If you were an attorney, you would understand that. Instead, you deliver a teary tale of your your relative wealth in an upscale town in New England. The Sandy Koufax and Einstein references are priceless. You need to read some Victor Frankel to get your WW2 perspective straightened out.

  6. Genital mutilation should be illegal everywhere….for both males and females.

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