Circumcision ban is an affront to Jewish and Muslim identity

A German court has rejected identity and history in favour of a liberal concept of choice, but there’s more to right and wrong.

In November 2010, a Muslim doctor in Germany carried out a circumcision on a four-year old-boy at the request of his parents. A few days later the boy started bleeding and was admitted to Cologne’s University hospital who reported the matter to the police. Last month, after a lengthy legal battle, a judge in Cologne outlawed male circumcision as being against the best interests of the child.

Muslim and Jewish groups have been understandably outraged. This week, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel set herself against the court ruling by telling members of her CDU party that “I do not want Germany to be the only country in the world in which Jews cannot practise their rites.” It beggars belief that a German chancellor ought to have to utter such a sentence. Read more


Dr Giles Fraser is priest-in-charge at St Mary’s Newington in south London.

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