Circumcision protected after all

With a substantial majority in the Bundestag (one house of the German parliament), politicians from all sides of the political spectrum voted for a joint resolution defending the practise of the circumcision of underage boys. The measure had support from the CDU / CSU, SPD and FDP, and set to rest a political maelstrom that was created earlier in the month by a German court.

The federal government has been asked to submit a bill taking into account the child's welfare and freedom of religion, as well as the right of parents that ensures that a medical professional circumcision of boys with no unnecessary pain is generally permitted. "Jewish and Muslim religious life must continue to be possible in Germany. Circumcision has a central religious significance for Jews and Muslims," the resolution stated. Angela Merkel has said Germany risked becoming a "laughing stock" if Jews were not allowed to practice their rituals.

The new law would overrule the ruling of a court in Cologne that was handed down earlier in July. Lawmakers noted in the resolution that the court ruling had deeply unsettled Muslims and Jews in Germany, as they feared the practice would now be outlawed. Meanwhile, doctors in Germany were alarmed at the threat of prosecution if they continued to perform these operations.

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