ICCJ Abrahamic Forum on circumcision ban.

During its recent meeting in Manchester, the ICCJ International Abrahamic Forum issued a statement responding to the ruling of the Cologne District Court in Germany on circumcision. The Abrahamic Forum will publish soon a more extensive position paper on issues like the Court’s ruling. In several countries, like in Holland and Sweden, a ban on ritual slaughter was discussed. Switzerland banned the building of minarets. Other countries consider a so called burka-ban. As one of the presenters during the annual ICCJ Manchester conference stated: the real clash in the near future will be the clash between law and religion. In western societies rights and freedoms, secularized and religious, will struggle for new relations to each other.


The International Abrahamic Forum is deeply concerned by the recent ban on circumcision by the court in Cologne, Germany.

We strongly believe, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that all people have the right to raise their children according to their own religious beliefs and practices. Reverend Dick Pruiksma (General Secretary) said, “Circumcision is an essential part of the Jewish, Eastern Christian and Muslim traditions, and has been so for thousands of years.”

Sheikh Ghassan Manasra (Co-Chair) commented that “Criminalisation will have an extremely negative effect on Muslim and Jewish communities in Germany, making it impossible for them to protect their religious and cultural identities.” Rabbi Ehud Bandel (Chair) stated that “such laws will only force Jewish and Muslim parents to have their children circumcised in places where such a ban is not in place, or even leave them with no choice but to emigrate from their homeland.” The IAF believes that this law is in effect signalling that Jews and Muslims are no longer welcome where such a ban is enforced.

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