Saturday, December 15, 2012

FORCED MALE CIRCUMCISION: NPO Clitoraid Denounces Germany, Appeals to UN

Clitoraid, a private non-profit organization, which aims to assist FGM victims who want to undo their mutilations, has spoken out to denounce the German decision to legalize the ritual genital mutilation of boys.

“Bodily harm is against the fundamental rights of all children, and we can’t understand when a so-called civilized country such as Germany would allow its male babies to be so readily mutilated legally!" said Nadine Gary, spokesperson for Clitoraid.

In addition to denouncing the German legalization of the ritual genital cutting of boys, the organization is urging a worldwide end to genital mutilation of male children as well, appealing to the UN to forced genital mutilation worldwide for both genders.

“On Nov. 28, the United Nations passed a resolution that condemns all cultural and religious arguments in favor of FGM because the act constitutes a gross violates of children rights, but how can the U.N. ban Female Genital Mutilation and not denounce Male Genital Mutilation as well? Is it exempting certain religions from respecting the fundamental right of baby boys?” Gary asked.

Gary continues, "According to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of males worldwide are circumcised. This means billions of people have been mutilated without their consent."

Brigitte Boisselier, Ph.D., head of Clitoraid, affirmed that mutilation of any baby or child in the name of a god is unacceptable.

“It’s been done for centuries under the pretense that a god requested it, but no religion should be allowed to harm infants or children who can’t give informed consent,” she said. “We’re setting up a hospital in Africa that’s due to open next year, where female victims can go to have genital repair surgery for free. “And, thanks to Clitoraid, thousands more can find relief at several clinics in North America. But we’ve also been getting e-mail from hundreds of circumcised men who want to have their own mutilation undone. They need help too! So, as Rael has repeatedly stated, it’s urgent to have all the old scriptures reviewed by an independent committee on human rights so that all religious group practices are in agreement with the Declaration of Human Rights.”

Rejected Amendments to German Circumcision Law
Amendments to the German law to legalize the genital mutilation of male children were put forth by circumcision opponents in the final Bundestag debates. Among the amendments that were rejected,  was a provision that parents cannot be allowed to circumcise a child if he is able to, and does verbally express his wishes to not be circumcised. (e.g., if the child can and does say "NO," the parents can no longer circumcise him)

The Bundestag majority rejected this amendment, meaning that according to the new law, the parents can physically drag him into the doctor's office, restrain him and circumcise him against his express wishes, and he has no protection.

Another amendment proposed that parents waited until he was 14 to decide whether or not he wanted to be circumcised.

This too was rejected.

 In Muslim traditions, boys are circumcised at later ages against their verbalized express wishes.

Sexist Double-Standards and Special Pleading
The tendency around female and male genital cutting is to sensationalize female genital cutting, while downplaying male genital cutting. While female genital cutting is rejected as "mutilation," and attempts to medicalize it are squarely condemned, the media seems to welcome, perhaps even encourage "research" which tries to find so-called "medical benefits" in male genital cutting.

While male circumcision advocates can get away with reading off a laundry list of the so-called "medical benefits" of male circumcision, advocates of female circumcision who try to clothe their cause in science are immediately stopped in their tracks.

Not so long ago, the AAP tried to approve a "ritual nick" for girls. The procedure wouldn't remove anything, and the AAP admitted that it was much less severe than male circumcision. The logic behind this move was that if they offered a "ritual nick" here in the States, then parents wouldn't take their daughters abroad to have more drastic procedures done. There was a world outcry, and the AAP was forced to retract their endorsement. The message was clear; under no circumstances were medical professionals to come near a girl's vulva with a knife, not even for a "ritual nick."

When AAP fellow Dr. Hatem al-Haj, PhD, MD published a 41-page Arabic-language paper titled “Circumcision of Girls: Jurisprudence and Medicine," where he says female circumcision is recommended and even “an honor” for women, he was fired by the MAYO Clinic. (Interestingly enough, a petition started to revoke this man's certifications states in bold lettering: "Remember: It doesn't matter how "little" you cut a little girl's vulva. It's still felony child abuse.")

Yet Jewish doctors who circumcise boys can get away with both reciting the "circumcision has medical benefits" sutra, and expounding with beaming pride that circumcision is this "time-honored tradition."

I'll have to steal the quote from above and make it part of the intactivist movement:

It doesn't matter how "little" you cut a little boy's penis. It is still child abuse, and a violation of the most basic of human rights.

To continue with my own quotes:
Genital mutilation, whether it be wrapped in culture, religion or “research” is still genital mutilation.

It is mistaken, the belief that the right amount of “science” can be used to legitimize the deliberate violation of basic human rights.

Thank you, Clitoraid, for acknowledging that the genital cutting of BOTH sexes is a gross violation of the most basic of human rights, and for resolving to help victims of BOTH genders regain what was stolen from them.


Related cause:
Help find ways to restore intact organs for men who want to undo their mutilations

Related Blog Posts:
Circumcision is Child Abuse: A Picture Essay

Germany "Protects" the Forced Genital Mutilation of Boys

The Cologne Ruling and the Limitations of Religious Freedom  

So Where's the "Sunat" Party?


  1. Thank you Joseph, for reporting the details of this important development. Clitoraid's support is a major step forward toward a more widespread understanding that all children have a basic human right to genital integrity.

  2. That's great. Incredible that a minority religion has so much more compassion and better understanding of the harm of genital mutilation than mainstream religions.

    I would recommend including a few foreskin restoration links next to the Foregen link.

  3. Had either amendment passed, a great many ritual circumcisions would no longer be possible in Germany, namely those done to Moslem boys who object. It is my understanding that circumcising boys aged 4 to 9 by force or deception is common in the Moslem world. Germany was not willing to buy into a long lasting fight with the Moslem world, one that could result in terrorist acts.

    Also, Moslem families would surely end run the restrictions by taking their boys to neighbouring countries. A circumcision ban is utterly impossible in France, which is guessed to be about 10% Moslem now (mostly of Algerian, Moroccan and Tunisian descent).

    Scandinavian countries are free of Holocaust guilt. Therefore they will enact age restrictions on ritual circumcision within the lifetimes of most readers of this blog. First World nations with small Jewish and Moslem populations will follow suit.

    The Koran is silent about circumcision, which is only a tradition in Islam. Over the next 100 years, it is quite conceivable that many educated and westernized Moslem families will stop circumcising. Over the course of this century, most liberal and secular Jewish families that have not already done so will abandon bris. Once these two changes are complete, the Koln court will be seen as having won a belated victory.

    1. Interestingly, female circumcision is ALSO a Muslim tradition not mentioned in the Koran. Activists against female genital cutting are having a difficult time stopping it in South East Asia, where male and female "sunat" is seen as an important sacrament. Yet, many countries have swimmingly instituted bans against female genital cutting of any kind, without fear of any terrorist attack.

      Methinks the real reason for Germany's impotence in standing up for children's rights and refusing to compromise any of its drafted law exempting circumcision is a desire to purge itself from even the most remote implication that it is reverting to its Nazi past.

      As I've written in my last blog post, I think it's actually remarkable that Germany was even able to make it a legal requirement that parents be made aware of any risks; in New York rabbis are fighting the City of New York to keep the law from requiring them to do the same regarding metzitzah b'peh, as ANY legal regulation on circumcision is being called an infringement. To the fighting rabbis, they see even the slightest government intervention as "the beginning of the end," and thus believe they must do everything in their power to keep any regulation on any aspect of circumcision from happening.

      Germany may actually be a victory for human rights activists, if ever only so slight...