Germany Jews and Muslims protest at circumcision ruling

Jewish and Muslim organisations have staged a joint protest in the German capital Berlin over a regional court's ruling that the circumcision of young boys constituted bodily harm.

The protest was prompted by the news that a rabbi in Bavaria was being investigated over the practice.

The ruling on circumcision was handed down by a court in Cologne in June.

However, the German government has since announced it will legislate to explicitly legalise the practice.

About a thousand people joined the protest to hear speeches from the chief rabbi of Berlin and other religious leaders.

"I'm here to stand for the freedom of religious rights," protester Fereshta Ludin told the BBC.

The court in Cologne had declared that the ritual circumcision of a Muslim boy, in accordance with his parents' faith, had caused the child bodily harm.

The German Medical Association then told doctors across the country to stop performing the procedure.

Both Jews and Muslims feel that, whatever the court intended, the ruling will be used as a way of attacking their religions, the BBC's Stephen Evans in Berlin reports.


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