Anxious to avoid any suggestion of religious intolerance, Chancellor Angela Merkel has intervened in the row over faith-based circumcisions. Through her spokesman, the chancellor promised Germany’s Jewish and Muslim communities on Friday they would be free to carry out circumcision on young boys despite a court ban which has provoked concerns about religious freedom.
In a country that is especially sensitive to allegations of intolerance because of the Nazis’ slaughter of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, the government said it would find a way around the Cologne court ban in June as a matter of urgency.
“For everyone in the government it is absolutely clear that we want to have Jewish and Muslim religious life in Germany,” said Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert. “Circumcision carried out in a responsible manner must be possible in this country without punishment.”