Bill Guarantees Right to Perform Circumcisions
Enlarge image Foreign Minister Westerwelle (© picture alliance / dpa)
The German Federal Government has agreed on draft legislation that would ensure that circumcision of young boys for religious reasons remains permissible in Germany. A decision by the regional court of Cologne had created uncertainty about the issue with a ruling in June that raised questions about the practice of circumcision of young boys. The Federal Government, however, responded quickly to the controversy, stating that responsibly conducted circumcisions must be possible in Germany without fear of prosecution and reaffirming its commitment to the religious freedom and Jewish and Muslim life in Germany.
The proposed legislation adopted on October 10 by the Federal Cabinet is designed to end this uncertainty and guarantees the right to of parents to have their young sons circumcised for religious reasons.
“This law will create legal certainty for those practicing religious traditions in Germany,” Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement on Wednesday. “The bill clearly shows that Germany is and will remain a cosmopolitan and tolerant country. We want Jewish and Muslim life to flourish as part of our society.”
Enlarge image Central Council of Jews in Germany President Graumann (© picture alliance / dpa) The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, welcomed the legislation, saying, “It is a downright wise, well-balanced and fair bill.” It sends the critical signal that Jewish and Muslim life are welcome in Germany, Graumann said, according to the Rheinische Post newspaper.
The head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, said the bill goes in the right direction, though he said it could be improved. It sends the unmistakable signal that Jews and Muslims are not being criminalized, Mazyek said, according to news reports.
The draft legislation will now be considered by the German parliament, the Bundestag.