Vienna – Austrian Religious Reps Fear Circumcision Backlash

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    FILE - A mother receives the eight-day-old son from a male family member at the end of the traditional Jewish circumcision ceremony in the Bet Shalom synagogue in Budapest, Hungary, 13 November 2011. EPA/BEA KALLOS Vienna – Senior Christian, Jewish and Muslim representatives are demanding that Austria formally declare its backing for circumcisions of male infants on religious grounds.

    Their call Friday comes after two provincial governors spoke out against such procedures based on a German court ruling that it could amount to criminal bodily harm.

    Last month’s verdict by a German regional court did not ban male circumcision of Muslim or Jewish infants. But it led the German Medical Association to recommend that no unnecessary circumcisions be performed until the legal situation is clarified. That is prompting calls for restrictions in Austria, which does not forbid the practice.

    Vorarlberg Governor Marcus Wallner has told hospitals to suspend circumcisions except for health reasons while Carinthia Governor Gerhard Doerfler has called for a nation-wide prohibition by law.

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