Faith groups unite on circumcision

2012-07-28 16:34
Moishe Furer, a rabbinical student holding his son Elchanan, attend a circumcision ceremony in Berlin. (Aviel Granov, AP)

Moishe Furer, a rabbinical student holding his son Elchanan, attend a circumcision ceremony in Berlin. (Aviel Granov, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Vienna - A row over religious circumcision in Austria that has spread from Germany made more waves on Saturday after an unprecedented joint call by Jews, Muslims and Christians for unequivocal government support.

The Jewish Community (IKG), the Islamic Community of Austria (IGGiOe) and Catholic and Lutheran bishops called on Friday on Vienna to "issue a clear commitment to religious freedom and to the legality of male circumcision".

"All sides welcome that the health and justice ministries see no need to change (the legal situation) but what is missing is a clear commitment from the highest level, in other words from government leaders," the statement said.

The call came after the premier of Vorarlberg issued a provisional recommendation to hospitals in the state not to perform circumcision operations, even when it is on religious grounds, prompting considerable media coverage.

The centre-right Markus Wallner issued the call following a highly contentious June ruling by a court in the German city of Cologne that circumcision of young boys was tantamount to grievous bodily harm, a criminal act.

Uproar

Unsure of its legal standing, Germany's chief medical association advised doctors who routinely perform circumcisions on baby boys on behalf of parents citing religious grounds to refrain.

The Cologne verdict provoked uproar from religious and political leaders in Israel as well as Muslim countries, with Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly saying it risked making Germany a "laughing stock".

This month German MPs adopted a cross-party motion calling on the government to protect the practice. Diplomats said the court ruling was "disastrous" to Germany's international image, particularly in light of its Nazi past.

"I see no need to act," Austrian Justice Minister Beatrix Karl said on Friday. "In Austria circumcision is not an illegal act. There also exists the fundamental right to religious freedom."

In Graz, capital of the south-eastern Austrian state of Styria, the children's hospital has also decided not to carry out any more circumcisions that have not already been scheduled.

Two Swiss hospitals have also called a provisional halt.

Both Muslims and Jews practise circumcision, although the Qur'an does not impose it, unlike the Torah which says the procedure must be done before the eighth day of a child's life.

The Austrian IKG's honorary president Ariel Muzicant reportedly even went as far as to say that a ban "would be an attempt at another Shoah [Holocaust]... just this time with intellectual means". The comment drew widespread criticism.
- SAPA
Read more on:    germany  |  austria  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
21 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a tendency to be too fixed on a set way of doing things today. You may get challenged and the best approach is to keep an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.