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

kalahari.com

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
22 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 12:15 PM
    Road name: Elevated Freeway Inbound
    DELAYS going towards The Waterfront exit
  • Wednesday Montague Gardens - 10:52 AM
    Road name: Montague Drive Southbound
    DELAYS towards Bosmansdam Road due to roadworks
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Pre-order the Xbox One

Get this all-in-one entertainment system with live TV, movies, social networking and gaming. Pre-order now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. 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

Apple iPad 3 Black 64GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 4G

Retina Display Finally the incredible Retina display technology from the iPhone...

From R7999.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The ingredients for today are communicating your original ideas in a creative and unique way that can make the right people look...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.