[QODLink]
Europe
Germany approves circumcision on boys
New legislation ends legal row over the religious tradition of circumcision after a local court banned the practice.
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2012 17:54
Merkel said Germany risked becoming a laughing stock if Jews were not allowed to practice their rituals [EPA]

Germany's cabinet has approved adraft law protecting the right to circumcise infant boys, which it says will end months of legal uncertainty after a local court banned the practice, causing outrage among Muslims and Jews.

The cabinet  announced support for proposals om Wednesday that would explicitly allow the practice.

The June ruling by a Cologne district court that circumcision constitutes "bodily harm" prompted an emotional national debate about religious freedom and the procedure itself.

The case came to court after a doctor carried out the circumcision, and it led to medical complications.

The German Medical Association then told doctors across the country to stop performing the procedure - thousands of Muslim and Jewish boys are circumcised in the country every year.

European Jewish and Muslim groups joined forces to contest the ruling, which they said was "an affront (to) our basic religious and human rights".

An embarrassed German government pledged to bring in new legislation by the autumn to safeguard the right of parents to have their sons circumcised.

"It was always our intention to lift this ruling," Steffen Seibert, German government spokesman, said.

Parliament must still approve the bill for it to become law.

The speed with which national politicians agreed to draw up a new law underscored sensitivity to charges of intolerance in a country haunted by its Nazi past.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the country risked becoming a laughing stock if Jews were not allowed to practise their rituals.

The bill states that the operation should take place with the most effective pain relief possible and only if parents have been fully informed about the nature of the procedure.

About 120,000 Jews are registered as living in Germany along with around four million Muslims, many of them from Turkey.

290

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
Part of the joint accord aimed at ending the political impasse establishes an independent National Election Commission.
Rights groups say the US prosecution of terrorism cases targets Muslims and are fraught with abuses.
Local painters forgo experimentation to cater to growing number of foreign buyers.
Cyprus is a tax haven and has long attracted wealthy Russians, but it could become a European energy hub.
Palestinians in Gaza have been shocked by the scale of Israeli destruction, as long-term truce efforts continue.
join our mailing list