No problems with circumcision in Germany

2012-07-01 20:32

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

Berlin - Germany's foreign minister on Sunday offered assurances that Germany protects religious traditions after a court ruled that circumcising young boys on religious grounds amounts to bodily harm even if parents consent.

A state court in Cologne ruled recently that the child's right to physical integrity trumps freedom of religion and parents' rights.

The ruling was strongly criticised by the head of Germany's Central Council of Jews, Dieter Graumann, who urged parliament to clarify the legal situation to protect religious freedom.

Muslim leaders also expressed concern.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that a legal debate "must not lead to doubts arising internationally about religious tolerance in Germany.

"The free exercise of religion is protected in Germany and that includes religious traditions," Westerwelle said in a statement.

"All our partners in the world should know that."

Volker Beck, a senior lawmaker with the opposition Greens, left open whether a "correction" of the Cologne ruling should be sought through the court system or through new legislation, but he said the result should be clarity that circumcision on religious grounds is justified so long as hygienic and medical standards are kept to.

Graumann has pointed out that the circumcision of newborn Jews has been practiced for thousands of years.

Muslims also circumcise young boys, while many parents request it on health grounds.

The European Jewish Congress added its voice to the criticism on Sunday.

The case in Cologne involved a doctor accused of carrying out a circumcision on a 4-year-old, approved by his Muslim parents, that led to medical complications.

The doctor was acquitted, however, and prosecutors said they won't appeal.

Unlike female circumcision, there is no law prohibiting the practice and the ruling isn't binding for other courts - but it creates a potentially tricky legal situation for doctors who perform the procedure on parents' orders.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    germany 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

VIDEO: The other leaders in this team have stepped up - Habana
VIDEO: 5 scintillating RWC tries from the weekend
World Cup 'curse' talk annoys Cameron
Meyer taking no chances
Traffic Alerts

Are you burning the candle at both ends? Listen to your body and your emotional reactions. Know when to slow down or stop. It is more

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


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 network.


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.