Rep. Engel slams 'offensive' European call for circumcision ban

“To somehow label male circumcision, a tradition practiced by Jewish and Muslim communities for thousands of years, a 'human rights violation' is ludicrous and offensive.

“Even more disconcerting is that this push to ban circumcision seems to be gaining traction in Europe — where memories of previous efforts to ban circumcision and other ritual Jewish practices are still vivid. I call on the EU to stand up for religious freedom by rejecting this fringe campaign and paying this resolution no heed.”

The resolution comes amid growing opposition from both the left and the right in Europe to religious practices that are seen as incompatible with traditional European values. The resolution also denounces female genital mutilation, corporal punishment and other forms of coercion. 

Israel has also called on the council to rescind the resolution, which passed on a 78-13 vote.

“Circumcision of male children is an ancient religious tradition of two important religions, Judaism and Islam, and it is also common among some Christian circles,” Israel's Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday. “Any comparison of this tradition to the reprehensible and barbaric practice of female genital mutilation is either appalling ignorance, at best, or defamation and anti-religious hatred, at worst.”

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