A German Court Has Ruled That Circumcising An Infant Is A Physical Assault

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Photo: flickr user: smitty42

A district court in Cologne, Germany has ruled that circumcising an infant for reasons other than medical necessity should be considered a physical assault, the Financial Times Deutschland reports.The ruling was prompted by the case of an Islamic couple who had their child hospitalized after he bled for two days after a religious circumcision.

The court’s decision is expected by some to serve as a precedent for future cases in Germany. Others believe the topic of religiously motivated circumcision will inevitably end up in the German Supreme Court. 

AFP reports that Jewish groups within the country are outraged, with the head of the Central Committee of Jews, Dieter Graumann calling the decision “outrageous and insensitive”.

Infantile circumcision is a common practice in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Those in favour of circumcision usually cite the belief that the government banning circumcision is infringing on the individual right of freedom of religion.

However there appears to be a growing movement in Europe to ban the practice when performed for religious reasons, based on the argument that the child cannot consent to the procedure. Just last month a representative of Norway’s centre Party created controversy by saying that the religious procedure should be banned.

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