Cologne’s Court Bans Infant Male Genital Mutilation

Including for religious reasons. Walter Russell Mead’s response is beyond self-parody:

To ban infant circumcision is essentially to make the practice of Judaism illegal in Germany; it is now once again a crime to be a Jew in the Reich … Perhaps those convicted of wrongful circumcision could be required to wear a yellow star?

But the case was brought in the case of a Muslim infant being mutilated without consent. And no doctor was convicted, and the Cologne court’s jurisdiction is not national. Yair Rosenberg touts the alleged medical benefits of the procedure (oddly, the German ruling allows circumcision for “medical” reasons). The Dish, of course, begs to differ. But the court does indeed get to a central issue: can parents permanently mutilate a child’s genitals to pursue their own religious goals? I have a rather expanisve view of religious liberty, so I would veer on the side of permissiveness here. But that it is an assault on a child seems obvious to me. If it were done not for religious reasons, it would be banned. And so I do not see making this mutilation as illegal as it is for girls to be somehow bigoted or intolerant.

And the religious liberty involved is obviously not the child’s. If he wants to, he can get his genitals mutilated later as a sign of his religious commitment – when he is old enough to be able to make such a choice of his own free will. At some point, one can only hope this barbarism disappears. And it will have nothing to do with anti-Semitism or Islamophobia; it will be about defending the religious liberty of Jewish and Muslim males to choose their religion, and not have it permanently marked as scar tissue on their dicks. It will be about the right not to be physically assaulted as an infant, to be able to grow up with the body you were born with. And that’s a pretty fundamental human right – more fundamental in my view than the parents’ right to express their own faith by mutilating another person’s body without his consent.