A regional German court's ban on circumcision has been met with agreement by Jewish and Muslim organizations united in denouncing it. Religious differences aside, both faiths are eye to eye when it comes to protecting their right to circumcise boys. "Circumcision is an ancient ritual that is fundamental to our individual faiths and we protest in the strongest possible terms against this court ruling," reads a joint statement signed by leaders of religious groups including the Rabbanical Center of Europe, European Jewish Parliament, the European Jewish Association, Germany's Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs and the Islamic Centre Brussels, as noted by The BBC. "We consider this to be an affront (to) our basic religious and human rights," the statement reads.
The ban, as The Associated Press reported on July 9, was made by a Cologne court which "ruled that circumcising young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm, even if parents agree to it." Reuters' Elisa Oddone reports that the ban only applies to the court's regional jurisdiction, and that the court emphasized that the ban wasn't even a full ban, since families are apparently allowed to circumcise their sons when they were older. (Ouch.) And even though the ruling only affects the boys who live in parts of Cologne, Germany is home to around 120,000 Jewish people and 4 million Muslims, according to Reuters, which notes that there will be a meeting in Stuttgart next week which will bring European rabbis, Muslim, and Christian leaders to discuss the ban.
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This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.