Ari Libsker, journalist and filmmaker from Tel Aviv (Israel) used his speech on the 4th Worldwide Day of Genital Autonomy on May 7th, 2016 in Cologne to talk about … why it is so important to talk to each other and stand united for children’s’ rights.
Fantastic to see so many people from all over the world are waking up ..
“Let’s unite together and fight this horrible, barbaric, evil thing that we’re doing to children”
It is telling that children see justice more easily than adults. Sex education should be a right for all children irrespective of their parents’ religious prudery. The function of the foreskin should be included and a knowledge of genital mutilation. All children, girls, boys, and inter gender, need protection from unnecessary genital surgery. Children’s rights – not parents’ rites or medical meddling …
May 2016: Fourteen-Year-Old Boy Protests against Circumcision at the ACOG Annual Symposium (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) on May 16, 2016. His father is Jewish. He is there with two of his sisters, including a younger one who is only 12. He is very glad that he was left intact and has all his genitalia!
MGM Protest, Golders Green Tube Station. Raising awareness, Promoting Brit Shalom and J4MB (Justice 4 Men and Boys political party UK).
Interesting debates with several people. Some defended infant cutting. Lots of the cut men thought there were health benefits. I guess that is one way of justifying it – although research does not back this claim up!
Many people were interested in the Jewish intactivist movement – which has a long history. Some recognised the human rights issue about consent but felt that it was a decision a parent should still have – often saying that “medical benefits” justified this – as well as religious reasons. I asked some “What if the child grows up to not be religious?” The most common answer being that it was only a minor procedure – and a useless flap of skin. Of course you can’t know any different if you don’t have that “flap” …
Many people were not interested in talking but took leaflets about Brit Shalom and Men’s right’s issues produced by Justice 4 Men and Boys.
Several people declared their religious feelings about MGM as an integral part of their religious life – and did not see MGM and FGM as comparable at all.
One Jewish lady was not sure who Joshua was but was robustly defending MGM for parents’ religious reasons – I was trying to explain that if she reads her Torah she will find that many of the Israelites were not circumcised as babies in the Joshua story – they decided to get mutilated as adults at Gilgal – producing “The mound of foreskins” (check your bible). So maybe cutting could be left to adulthood as there is a biblical precedent for this.
Patrick Smyth: The intactivist message, including Brit Shalom, was promoted in Golders Green yesterday with Mike Buchanan of J4MB and other staunch human rights activists. In all the five years that I have been protesting this issue on the streets I have never before experienced so much opposition and ridicule from women. We had mostly civilised and rational discussion with the men who had been subjected to the ancient ritual.
… There were many interesting conversations, including one with a man who was wearing the Tzitzis and must have been over 60, and yet he informed us that his mother left him intact! I dressed all in black for a change as befits my mood at the moment. Much more to report and more pictures/video as and when I collect my thoughts.
The Police attended and dealt with public access, protesters, and public even handedly and sensitively and the small demo of about ten protesters was peaceful. A very small number of passers by were rude and felt that there was no issue to protest about. The vast majority of people were polite even if they did not agree with our message.
The topic of MGM is being covered on mainstream radio …
Politicians in the UK, like other European countries, just don’t want to front up to the religious parents who want to carve up their kids. There’s a large Muslim vote, very influential Jewish media and political representation, and Politicians seek kudos by being ever more politically correct in pandering to these voices.
Most native Brit’s have the attitude “I don’t do it – if religious people want to cut their children that’s up to them – I am not going to make a fuss because I don’t want to be perceived as being anti Semitic or islamophobic” There are also many who don’t want FGM to be compared to MGM as they see GM as a female oppression issue only..
If female British Somalis were influential bankers, politicians, or media moguls or had five million votes then FGM would still be legal in the UK too… The situation is a real unjust paradox – GM is GM – no matter the gender of the child or culture of their parents.
Excellent article from The Freethinker …
“Dr Antony Lempert , above, of the Secular Medical Forum, has welcomed a High Court judge’s ruling against a ‘controlling and violent’ Muslim who wanted his children circumcised.
After Mrs Justice Roberts said that the boys should be able to make the choice themselves, Lempert described the ruling as a small but:
Welcome step towards safeguarding children from forced genital cutting.
Religious requirements, he added:
Should not be allowed to override a person’s most fundamental right to grow up with an intact body and to make their own choices about permanent bodily modifications. It is a procedure that permanently removes healthy, erogenous and functional tissue from the most intimate part of a person’s body without that person’s consent and for no medical reason.
That it should take a parental disagreement in court for a child to be protected from forced genital cutting remains a serious concern from a child safeguarding perspective.”
Click for full article: Court’s circumcision ruling welcomed by secular medic
See also: National Secular Society: Secular medics welcome religious circumcision ruling
UK, April 2016,Guardian: The law will not end infant circumcisions, but education just might
UK April 2016, Telegraph: Should religious circumcision be banned?
UK April 2016: Muslim father loses circumcision court battle over sons
No cutting without informed consent.