22 August 2012, 15:35

German rabbi charged with performing illegal circumcision

German rabbi charged with performing illegal circumcision

A German Rabbi has become the first person to face criminal charges for performing a circumcision. It happened less than two months after the Cologne district court banned religious circumcisions in Cologne because of the bodily harm it caused to newborn babies. Meanwhile, medical circumcisions remain legal.

On Tuesday, a German doctor sued Rabbi David Goldberg for inflicting “physical harm” to an infant during circumcision. Chief prosecutor Gerhard Schmitt confirmed that the complaint was filed, although it has not yet been decided whether legal action will be carried out against the rabbi.

The issue was first brought to public attention in June, when a four-year-old boy was taken to a hospital after a circumcision performed by a Muslim doctor at his parents’ request. Although no violation of the law was found in the doctor’s activities, the Cologne district court banned religious circumcision.

This decision has caused an uproar among Muslim and Jewish communities across the world and sparked a rare show of unity between Jews and Muslims.

Immediately after the district court ruling, Chancellor Angela Merkel voiced her position, saying her country risked becoming “a laughing stock” if Jews and Muslims were banned from practicing their rituals.

The issue was taken to the European Parliament where Jewish and Muslim religious leaders complained about “an affront to their basic religious and human rights.”

But there are also many supporters of the ban throughout the world, who consider it necessary in order to protect children from pain and potential harm.

Muslims perform circumcision rituals on young boys before the age of 7, and Jews do it on the eighth day after birth.

Russia Today

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