Berliners protest for right to circumcise

Jews and Muslims in Berlin demonstrated for the right to carry out ritual circumcisions in Germany.

Some 300 demonstrators rallied Sept. 8 at Bebelplatz, the site of the 1933 Nazi book burnings, to protest the May ruling in a Cologne court that classified non-medical circumcision of minor boys as a crime of bodily injury.

The protesters, as well as Jewish and Muslim leaders, also protested a legal solution offered by the Berlin State Ministry of Justice that would allow ritual circumcisions only by medical practitioners.

According to the Berlin Morgenpost newspaper, the former head of Berlin’s Jewish community, Lala Susskind, said “there must be a law securing the right to circumcision” by a mohel, or ritual circumciser.

The director of the American Jewish Committee office in Berlin, Deidre Berger, issued a support statement, saying, “It is illogical that practitioners are legally liable for a procedure recommended by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics.” — jta