Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors – our letters to Jewish and Muslim clerics and organizations, and a response from Milah UK

We’re stepping up our efforts to have non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors in the UK declared illegal, and this will be our #1 campaigning issue for the foreseeable future. We recently publicly challenged Alison Saunders and Theresa May MP on the matter.

A few days ago we emailed letters to leading Jewish and Muslim clerics, organizations, and newspapers. The one we sent to Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis is here, and the (very similar) one we sent to Dr Omar El-Hamdoon (President, Muslim Association of Britain) is here.

We’ve just received our first response, from an organization we didn’t write to. It’s a letter signed by the Co-Chairmen of Milah UK, Prof. David Katz and Dr. Simon Hochhauser. They describe the organization in the following terms:

Milah UK is the campaign group set up by the organizations of the Jewish community in the UK to promote and protect the right of the Jewish community to carry out religious circumcisions in accordance with our religious beliefs.

The letter is here, and it’s been posted here with the kind permission of the organization. Our response is here, and it ends with the following:

Your lack of humanity towards male minors only reinforces our determination to have non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors declared illegal in the UK, so that future generations of Jewish men and boys will not have to suffer as their predecessors have. Along with a number of other organizations, we shall work tirelessly towards that goal, for as long as it takes. When that happy day arrives – as it surely will – you’ll need to find something to replace the mutilation of baby boys’ genitals as ‘the most important, recognizable and indeed celebrated element of Jewish culture’.

11 thoughts on “Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors – our letters to Jewish and Muslim clerics and organizations, and a response from Milah UK

  1. It’s not legitimate if there are less invasive alternatives. Circumcision is medical negligence if done for phimosis, BXO/lichen sclerosis, or anything that can be cured with patience or antibiotics.

  2. Mike, have you considered writing to the NHS trusts that decided to put funding towards MGM?

    In an era of austerity in which patients are denied life saving drugs on cost grounds there can surely be no justification for taxpayers funding the mutilation of children.

    Perhaps you could do some FOi requests to find out how much different NHS trusts spend on religiously motivated MGM? It woudl then be interesting to see what this money could have otherwise been spent on. I recall some NHS trust been extremely enthusiastic about butchering kids, whereas others refuse to fund a single religiously motivated procedure. Here’s one FOI request I found:

  3. Perhaps a term such as “amputation” would be better? It’s certainly a legitimate practice to remove diseased/damaged parts of the body, including the genitals (male or female).

  4. “FGM is the partial or complete removal of the genitalia”

    False. I’m unaware of any form of recognised FGM that manages to remove the vaginal canal or the internal clitoris.

    “the result can make intercourse extremely difficult and/or painful and can be the cause of serious medical complications”

    MGM makes intercourse extremely difficult because the victim no longer has any fine touch reception because his primary sexual tissue (The ridged band) has been cut off, which renders his penis a numb dildo. With only the glans left in most cases, this means all he can sense is pain and pressure from the protopathic glans. He is at 4-5 times higher risk of ED. Also, many circumcised men suffer painful erections, psychological damage (depression, PTSD, etc.) and more circumcised males die from mutilation than females do worldwide given the far higher numbers involved. MGM also causes infections like septicaemia because most circumcisions of malesare carried out in third world conditions.

    Write them a letter back and ask them for one neurological study that proves FGM removes more nerves and functionality than MGM. Then wait while the tumbleweeds roll by.

  5. The problem with saying “non-therapeutic” is that it implies some circumcisions are therapeutic. The reasons given for circumcising for therapeutic reasons are spurious, e.g. phimosis, BXO. We never cut bits off female genitalia for such things. These are post hoc rationalisations to justify mutilation.

  6. Good to see at least one political party in the UK doing something. This absurd idea that slicing up normal genitalia is unacceptable if done to girls but OK if done to boys needs to end. Removing bits of any child’s body for some whimsical reason (e.g., ‘god’, ‘cleanliness’, ‘tradition’ etc.) is not responsible parenting. It’s a revolting violation. The risk of death and other complications also makes this an astonishingly irresponsible thing for a parent to do.

  7. For me it is quite simple. Once old enough Jewish or any other male could themselves decide to have this procedure. But clearly a baby can’t. It is an assault. The point is not a comparison with FGM, or indeed any other footbinding, head flattening, skin scarring, nose or ear piercing or incising that is or has been inflicted on infants. . There is no reason to inflict the pain or risk on an infant. Without consent it is an assault.
    In an irony any feminist true to their theory should be standing with you on this .

  8. This barbaric practice has no place in a civilised and modern secular society and must be stopped, except where medically necessary.

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