J4MB challenges the Ashfield candidates over male genital mutilation

For the past two or three weeks I’ve been receiving a large number of emails daily from individuals and organizations asking whether J4MB supports various policy positions. Many concern issues on which we have no official positions, and we simply don’t have the time to respond to more than a few of them.

Yesterday evening I received the following email, my response follows it.

“Dear Candidate,

This election, please support the Jewish community’s Ten Commitments.

In your capacity as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the General Election, I wanted to draw to your attention the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ 2015 General Election Jewish Manifesto, which you can access here.

The Manifesto includes an extensive range of Jewish issues including Religious Freedom, Antisemitism, Israel, Education, Social Care and Social Action. The Manifesto also includes a list of the community’s top ten ‘Policy Asks’, which have been encapsulated into the Manifesto’s Ten Commitments.

I would value your response to the Board of Deputies’ Ten Commitments, listed below.

Please send me your response to these issues and, if you feel able, please share your support for these Ten Commitments on social media with the hashtag #TenCommitments @BoardofDeputies:

1. Defend the right to a Jewish way of life, including kosher meat; religious clothing; circumcision; and flexible working to accommodate Shabbat and festival observance.

2. Oppose all forms of hate crime, including Antisemitism, Islamophobia and other types of racism, promoting and enhancing community safety.

3. Promote good relations, understanding and cooperation between all of the UK’s communities.

4. Support efforts to remember and understand the Holocaust, and strive to prevent any future genocide.

5. Advocate for a permanent, comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, resulting in a secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.

6. Promote peace projects that unite communities, and resist boycotts that divide communities.

7. Affirm the importance of faith schools within the overall provision.

8. Support the provision of religiously and culturally sensitive youth and social care services.

9. Promote a more just and sustainable future in the UK and abroad; supporting efforts to tackle poverty, climate change and human rights abuses.

10. Celebrate and support Jewish heritage and cultural Institutions.

Please do take the opportunity to review and consider the Manifesto. I would very much welcome further discussion on any of the issues and look forward to hearing your feedback and the areas on which you feel able to commit.

If you would like to discuss the document further, please do not hesitate to contact me, or the Board’s Parliamentary Affairs Officer, at , telephone .

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours Truly…

<Name redacted>”

I replied with the following, and copied all the other Ashfield candidates on the email:

“<Name redacted>, thank you.

If you check out our election manifesto you’ll see one of the state’s 20 assaults on the human rights of men and boys – through its actions and/or inactions – about which we campaign is male genital mutilation. If your religion required the mutilation of the genitals of eight-day-old girls, the state wouldn’t permit it. Genital mutilation is a barbaric assault on males, and making it illegal on religious and/or cultural grounds is underway in Europe (e.g. Finland). We shall pressure the UK government to follow suit as soon as possible.

I invite the other Ashfield candidates to reply to you, copying the other candidates, showing they support the human right of males not to have their genitals mutilated shortly after birth – or indeed before the age of 18, without their full consent. Should they fail to do so, as I predict they will, they will be displaying their lack of concern for the human rights of half the population.”

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Some people cannot see the irony of trying to justify the forced genital cutting of boys in the name of ‘religious freedom’. What about HIS religious freedom?. When he is 18 he can decide what, if any, religion he wants to follow, and likewise decide whether he wants to remove the most sensitive part of his penis (whilst understanding the risks entailed). You do not have the right to permanently carve YOUR religion into defenseless child’s body. Bris Shalom!

  • I do hope the other parties have the courage to reply….

  • William Gruff

    I’d describe that communication as a brazen attempt to coerce you into supporting Israel and Judaism or to mark you as an opponent.

  • You can point out to the Board of Deputies of British Jews’ that the practice of circumcision as currently performed it not what Abraham performed and called for. If they insist on doing it the it should comply with the bible which calls for a very limited and non-damaging form. This would be a compromise position to an out right ban. For biblical religious purposes only Milah is required, Periah is not and I believe cannot be defended for a non-adult. See here for back ground information on the difference. http://www.cirp.org/library/history/peron2/

  • Lars Olesen

    Excellent!

  • Thanks Mike for sticking up for the little man who cannot stick up for himself. I could say much on this subject, but for a change I will let someone else say it for me. Over to you, Natasha Phillips: http://researchingreform.net/2015/01/20/president-of-the-family-division-shies-away-from-controversial-mgm-debate/