mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
No Snips in Austria? Circumcision Ban in Hitler’s Homeland

Two steps forward, one step back in Europe: after the German parliament rebuked a Cologne court’s decision to ban circumcision in Germany, an Austrian province went ahead and banned the practice.

The provincial governor, Markus Wallner, said he had halted circumcisions until Austria formulated a uniform approach to the practice, a religious duty for Muslims and Jews. “This is a subject that has to be regulated countrywide,” his spokesman said.

Via Meadia‘s stand on banning male circumcision for Muslims and Jews: it is not okay. While some of the people who support this do so without fully grasping what a monstrous thing it is to do to try to prevent parents from complying with basic and long established commandments of their faith, others support these bans out of hatred and fear: in these days in Austria, mostly of Muslims, but Jew hatred isn’t dead in the land of Hitler’s birth.

We trust that Austrians will do the right thing and follow the lead of their neighbors to the north in overturning this ugly, shameful ban.

Features Icon
show comments
  • Common Sense Humanist

    I fear sometime in the future, people like yourself who vehemently defend and foolishly battle cry to allow the genital mutilation of children will look like blubbering Buffoons. Times are changing, decent moral human beings not clouded by religion or culture can very clearly see cutting genitals of babies is unethical, immoral, and utterly indefensible. Even humanistic Judaism has expressed criticism of cutting sons and Brit Shalom is being practised more and more. Which side of history will you be on, when it comes to the human rights of our male children?

  • Family Penis

    “what a monstrous thing it is to do”

    I honestly thought I was about to read something like “to cut healthy body parts off a defenseless baby”. Instead it’s “to try to prevent parents” from doing this. What’s more monstrous, really?

  • Alex Scipio

    I just don’t get two things here. Help me out.

    1. What business is it of the State to decide on this, and why? The State needs to concern itself with safe borders, secure citizens and level economic and educational playing fields. AND THAT IS ALL.

    2. On a more frivolous note (?), are there just millions of women – tens of millions of women – just DEMANDING a more sensitive male organ, shortening the time to male orgasm, ensuring lowered sexual satisfaction for women generally?

  • Alex Scipio

    @common sense humanist [of course]:

    Far as I am aware, ALL studies of AIDS have concluded that circumcision lowers the incidence of infection. Are you proposing we encourage MORE and PREVENTABLE HIV?

  • Marx Kantiere

    Indeed, sir Mead, I partially agree with your point: if ban is driven by fear, such ban should be lifted and considered as a step back.

    However, we must also consider that if people are not ready to withdraw from their beliefs in face of evidence, there could be no democracy at all.

    That is why I maintain religion is somehow enemy of democracy. Moreover, ideology is by nature enemy of ideology, so I am not surprised “believers” expose themselves to attack more than others. By the way, one cannot blame the woman that shows off for having been raped. The only ones to blame are the attackers, both systematic Nazis or fearsome ignorant people.

    Hence, on one hand, we see religion might be (or not) enemy of democracy. On the other end, violence is ALWAYS the enemy of democracy.

    I conclude by claiming that, although your point is good, the way you reach your conclusion might be achieved by better argument and sources… But this is just a personal opinion. Anyway, I thank you very much for raising the issue and please don’t mind the people that insult you, although I maintain you should be quite used to those Kind of attacks (tetragono ai colpi di sventura).

  • kris

    I’m sincerely curious if there’s any correlation between the anti-circumcision and anti-vaccine activists.

  • Tony


    “The State needs to concern itself with safe borders, secure citizens and level economic and educational playing fields. AND THAT IS ALL.”

    I agree. In order to secure citizens, the state may pass and enforce laws that protect individual citizens from unwanted harm from others. That is a legitimate power. Since circumcision (i.e. surgery) inflicts physical harm in every case, with the possibility of further harm, a law prohibiting non-therapeutic circumcision without the citizen’s consent is consistent with this role and power of the state. Such a law works to secure his right to physical integrity.

  • Common Sense Humanist

    @ Alex, I have studied and read the three infamous studies conducted in third world Africa and have found them to be flawed. Brian Earp has an excellent paper over at the Oxford practical ethics blog.
    1. Biostatistics has determined we cannot extrapolate results found in studies done in 3rd world Africa to the populations of the first world. This alone makes the findings of those studies obsolete & irrelevant to the developed world.
    2. Sexually transmitted HIV is a disease that affects sexually active adults and is therefore unethical to promote for children who aren’t sexually active & whose individual risk is unknown.
    3. This ban in Cologne came after a 4-year old had to be hospitalised from a botched circumcision. This child’s penis was damaged, and we all know how men feel about their penises. Cutting off a mobile nerve rich sleeve of erogenous tissue is most certainly ‘grievous bodily harm.’ It is the innocent children Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other countries are aiming to protect.
    4. There is no connection between age restricting child circumcision & anti-vaxers. Age restricting circumcision is about human rights. No child has ever died from having an attached foreskin, and somehow 75% of the world leads full, healthy lives with intact genitals.

  • Jules

    in Hitler’s Homeland

    Smug American bigot WRM – no doubt a descendant of slave owners, segregationists, atomic bomb droppers, and Indian killers and whose country continues to militarily occupy half the planet whilst using mass media to spread its toxic left wing cultural AIDS – doing his usual anti-European trolling. Did you not get in enough Third Reich references during the German child mutilation, oops, I meant circumcision, controversy? I hope your influence grows. I really do. I wish every European conservative (especially those deluded, as I once was, into believing the USA is a friend) was as familiar with this type of neocon hatred of Western civilisation as I am.

  • Jules

    Cutting off a mobile nerve rich sleeve of erogenous tissue is most certainly ‘grievous bodily harm.’ It is the innocent children Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other countries are aiming to protect.

    Around here having that view means you are Nazi Jew-hater. Welcome to neoconservatism.

  • kris

    Jules@9, I’m having a little bit of trouble following your well thought-out comment, so could you please help me out?

    For example, what is this half a planet that the US militarily occupies? If you regurgitate all the standard anti-American tropes propagated by the Left, why do you then criticize the Left? Do you think that WRM supports the Leftist poison you castigate? If you deplore WRM, why do you want him to get more influence? Is it that you believe in the Communist conception of Dialectics? Are you genuinely confused between mutilation and circumcision, or were you making a puerile attempt at sarcasm? Where did you get the idea that Neocons hate Western Civilization? Just who are those Neocons you speak of? For that matter, I’m confused about what you deem Western civilization? Surely you don’t consider the term to be synonymous with an opposition to circumcision? If two words from WRM are sufficient to set you off, do you think that your ill-tempered comment is likely to positively influence people?

    Thanks in advance for any attempt at enlightening me.

  • Hugh7

    Saying that Austria was once “Hitler’s homeland” is 1) as irrelevant as it having been Mozart’s, and 2) a breach of Godwin’s Law, making your remarks unworthy of further consideration.

    @Alex: (2) The uniquely mobile structure, containing >20,000 specialised nerves, does not just confer “more sensitivity” but “a symphoony of sensation”. Far from “shortening the time to orgasm” it is cutting it off, akin to ripping out your accelertor pedal and leaving an on-off switch, that reduces the amount of feedback and hence control; you can still reach your destination, but the, um, ride is not nearly as pleasant. Frisch et al. in Denmark found reduced sexual satisfactionf for both circummcised men and their partners.

    The African HIV studies, flawed as they are, show only a reduction in female-male-transmission, one of the rarer direcitons in the developed world. A Tuskegee-like study in Uganda started to show that circumcising HIV+ men INcreased the risk to women, but that was cut short for no good reason before that could be confirmed. Benefits of circumcision were all they were interested in.

  • Corlyss

    Seems to me if there were anything to these charges against circumcision as a practice, it would have killed off the Jews 5000 years ago. Since they are still here, I’m going out on a limb here and opine that the charges are just anti-Semitism in a new kaftan. The only possible ill-effect I can come up with is the tendency of Jews to vote Democratic/liberal by disgusting margins that seem to imply a stubborn inability to learn from their mistakes.

  • jeff

    Good for Austria! Good for everywhere that puts a stop to the mutilation of baby boys’ genitals!

    His penis. His choice. Anything else is a crime!

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service