'Illegal bodily harm': One survey 60 percent of Germans equated circumcision with genital mutilation
A decision to outlaw circumcision on young boys on the grounds that it causes 'illegal bodily harm' has sparked fury among Jewish and Islamic groups in Germany.
The court decision to make child circumcision a crime, made in the city of Cologne, has incurred the wrath of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, a body politicians and the judiciary try to placate as often as possible given the history of the Holocaust.
Although a local ruling, it may set a legal precedent that courts in the other 15 states of Germany would be obliged to follow.
Therefore the fight to reverse it could, ultimately, lead all the way to the Federal Constitutional Court, Germany's highest.
The irony of Jews and Muslims being brought together over a religious issue has not been lost on observers. But while both religions decry it, mainstream German citizens are in accord with the court ruling and believe it should be halted.
One survey last year showed 60 percent of Germans equating circumcision with genital mutilation, a comparison, however, that the Cologne court refused to draw.
Dieter Graumann, president of the Central Council, said the verdict was 'an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in religious communities' right to self-determination. The book of Genesis instructs believers that men should be circumcised.
Controversy: The ruling has brought down the wrath of the Central Council of Jews in Germany (file picture)
'Circumcision of newborn boys is a fixed part of the Jewish religion and has been practiced worldwide for centuries. This religious right is respected in every part of the world.' Islamist organisations also blasted the ruling and promised legal challenges.
Ali Demir, the Chairman of the Islamic Religious Community in Germany, representing some 5.5 million Muslims in Germany, stormed: 'This is a harmless procedure with thousands of years of tradition behind it and high symbolic value.
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