BERLIN — A court ruling in Germany banning circumcision is “extraordinarily dangerous” and should be clarified by the government before the end of the year, a rabbi from a top Jewish rights group said Wednesday.
“We are very concerned that Europe becomes a place where circumcision is made illegal or denigrated,” Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre told reporters after meeting the German justice minister over the issue.
“That would be extraordinary dangerous and injurious for the Jewish community,” he added.
Cooper said he was satisfied after his meeting with Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger and said he expected the government to introduce legislation protecting the rite “before the end of the year”.
Members of parliament signed up to a cross-party motion in July calling on the government to draw up legislation that “ensures that the circumcision of boys carried out to medically professional standards and without undue pain is fundamentally permissible”.
In a ruling published in June, a court in the western German city of Cologne ruled that circumcision on religious grounds was tantamount to grievous bodily harm and therefore illegal.
The ruling prompted outrage and Jewish and Muslim community leaders joined forces to condemn it in the strongest possible terms, seeing a threat to the freedom of religion in Germany.
Diplomats have acknowledged privately that the ruling has proved “disastrous” to Germany’s international image, particularly in light of its Nazi past.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is reported to have said that the ruling risked making Germany a “laughing stock”.
Turkey’s Europe Minister Egemen Bagis wrote in an opinion article in Tuesday’s edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the ruling was in danger of threatening religious freedom in Germany.
Israeli President Shimon Peres has also weighed into the controversy, telling his German counterpart in a letter last week that circumcision is “at the core of Jewish identity”.
Cooper said: “It’s true on economic areas, when Germany sneezes, Europe catches a cold.”
“On this issue we want to make sure that it won’t spread.”
Vehicles being used as weapons against protesters is ‘the new normal in 2020’: CNN
CNN's Don Lemon on Friday evening devoted a segment to the rash of incidents in which people have driven through Black Lives Matter protesters in the same manner that killed Heather Heyer at the fatal 2017 "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
"Vehicles used as weapons," Don Lemon began. "You heard me right, vehicles are being used as weapons against Americans taking to the streets in Black Lives Matter protests in cities across this country."
CNN correspondent Evan McMorris-Santoro reported shocking scenes captured on camera of vehicles running down protesters are "common now."
Trump to ignore Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish and appoint Amy Coney Berman: reports
President Donald Trump intends to name Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, US media reported Friday, who if confirmed would cement a solid conservative majority on the high court.
The president said this week he will announce his pick to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday, and various media outlets said it would be the 48-year-old conservative judge.
Citing sources close to the process, various media outlets, including The New York Times and CNN, said Trump would nominate Barrett.
If she is confirmed the court would shift to a 6-3 conservative majority.
Trump tells supporters he won’t be ‘stupid’ enough for peaceful transition of power if he loses
President Donald Trump continued to spread debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election during a Friday night campaign rally in Virginia.
Trump argued that it was impossible for him to lose the election, thus concluding he would be "stupid" to hand over power peacefully should he lose.
"We not gonna lose this, except if they cheat," Trump falsely claimed about the 2020 campaign, where he trails Joe Biden in national and battleground polling.
"That's the only way we're gonna lose is if there's, uh, mischief," he argued. "And it will have to be on a big scale."