AJC Criticizes German Court Ruling on Circumcision

AJC Criticizes German Court Ruling on Circumcision

June 27, 2012 – Berlin – AJC criticized a German court’s ban of circumcision as an infringement on private religious practice. A district court in Cologne ruled that circumcision is acceptable only when performed as a medical necessity.   

“We are deeply concerned about the court’s lack of understanding of basic religious freedom,” said AJC Berlin Director Deidre Berger. “This decision throws into question the fundamental, age-old tradition of two of the world’s three monotheistic traditions.”

The case involved a Cologne doctor charged with injuring a 4-year-old Muslim boy during a circumcision procedure in a local hospital. Although the doctor was acquitted in a lower court, a state prosecutor appealed to a district court, which ruled that the child’s parents had violated their son’s right to physical and religious autonomy.

“Children’s rights are important but German Jewish and Muslim parents have a right to give their children a religious upbringing,” said Berger, who called on the German parliament to uphold the rights of religious minorities.”

The district court ruling must now be upheld by either the Federal Constitutional Court or the German Federal Court of Justice.

Date: 6/26/2012
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