English – Male and female circumcision among Jews, Christians and Muslims

Summary table of contents 11
General observations 13
Foreword by Marilyn Fayre Milos 15
Introduction 17

Part I – Definition and distribution of circumcision 23
1) Mutilation phenomenon 23
2) Choice of terminology 23
3) Different types of male circumcisions 24
4) Different types of female circumcisions 27
5) Figures and geographical distribution 28
A) Male Circumcision 28
B) Female Circumcision 30
C) Why is male circumcision more common? 32

Part II – Religious debate 35
Chapter I – Circumcision among the Jews 35
Section I – Male circumcision in Jewish holy books 36
1) Definition of Jewish holy books 36
2) Texts concerning circumcision 37
Section II – Obligatory character of circumcision 42
1) Circumcision in ancient Middle-East 42
2) Circumcision, elected people and promised land 44
3) Circumcision, sign of distinction and salvation 46
4) Uncircumcision entrenches, circumcision binds 48
5) Impurity of the uncircumcised 49
6) Marriage with uncircumcised 50
7) Separation in life and in death 52
8) Exaggeration of the importance of circumcision 54
Section III – Jews opposed to circumcision 55
1) Jews didn’t always practice circumcision 55
2) Debate against circumcision in the past 58
3) Debate among reformed German Jews 61
4) Present debate among American Jews 64
A) Opinion of Ronald Goldman 67
B) Opinion of Miriam Pollack 69
5) Opening of the debate in Israel 71
6) Saving of circumcision boat 75
Section IV – Jewish circumcision operation 77
Sub-section I – Bloody circumcision 77
1) Person submitted to circumcision 77
A) All males born Jewish 77
B) Slaves, converts and enemies 82
C) The one who is born or converts circumcised 83
D) Hermaphrodite and the one who has two foreskins 84
2) Actors of circumcision 85
A) Circumciser 85
B) Godfathers 87
C) Public 88
D) The Prophet Elijah 88
3) Modes of circumcision 89
A) Spiritual and material preparation 89
B) Stages of circumcision 91
C) Destiny of the foreskin 93
4) Ritual of the circumcision 94
A) Introduction 94
B) Translation 94
C) Two remarks on the ritual 96
Sub-section II – Non-bloody circumcision 97
1) Maintenance of the ritual and suppression of the operation 97
2) First model of non-bloody ritual 97
3) Second model of non-bloody ritual 98
Section V – Female circumcision among Jews 100
1) Female circumcision in the ancient Middle-East 100
2) Female circumcision among Jews 101
3) Involvement of girls in non-bloody circumcision 103
Chapter II – Circumcision among Christians 104
Section I – Male circumcision in the Christian holy books 104
1) Definition of Christian holy books 104
2) Texts concerning circumcision 104
3) Position of Jesus 109
4) Position of the apostles 109
Section II – Position of the Church Fathers and theologians 112
1) Victory of the trend opposed to circumcision 112
2) Position of Justin 113
3) Position of Origen 114
4) Position of Cyril the Great 115
5) Position of Thomas Aquinas 115
6) Position of Martin Luther 118
Section III – Present debate among Christians 119
Sub-section I – Debate among Egyptian Copts 119
1) Male circumcision among Copts 119
2) Female circumcision among Copts 123
Sub-section II – Debate among American Christians 125
1) Literal interpretation of the Bible 125
A) Position of Mcmillen 126
B) Position of Dan Gayman 128
C) Position of Lindsey 128
D) Position of Armstrong 129
2) Refusal of the literal interpretation 129
A) Position of Jim Bigelow 130
B) Position of Rosemary Romberg 131
Section IV – Christian aberrations about circumcision 133
1) Feast of circumcision and worship of Jesus’ foreskin 133
2) Russian castrated sect 135
3) Choir castrates 140
Chapter III – Circumcision among Muslims 142
Section I – Circumcision in the Koran 143
1) The Koran, first law source 143
2) The Koran silence concerning circumcision 143
3) Interpretation of certain ambiguous verses 144
A) God tested Abraham through certain words 145
B) God’s tincture 147
4) Circumcision contrary to the philosophy of the Koran 148
A) Perfection of God’s creation in the Koran 148
B) Argument of the perfection of the creation in the past 149
C) Argument of the perfection of the creation in the present 149
Section II – Circumcision in the sunnah of Muhammad 153
1) Sunnah of Muhammad, the second law source 153
2) Narratives in favor of male and female circumcision 154
A) Narratives concerning Abraham’s circumcision 155
B) Narratives concerning Muhammad’s circumcision 155
C) Narratives concerning Hasan’s and Husayn’s circumcision 156
D) Narratives concerning circumcision of Muhammad’s daughters 156
E) Narratives concerning sunan al-fitrah 157
F) Narratives ordering male circumcision 158
G) Narratives on the uncircumcised’s urine 159
H) Circumcision is sunnah for men, and makrumah for women 159
I) If the two circumcisions meet 160
J) The narrative of the female circumciser of slaves 160
3) Non-authenticity and assignment of these narratives to Jews 161
4) Rejection of the sunnah 162
Section III – Circumcision in the previous prophets’ laws 164
1) Previous prophets’ law as law source 164
2) Apocryphal Gospel of Barnabas 164
3) Narrative of the circumcision of Hagar 166
Section IV – Circumcision in the sunnah of Muhammad’s successors 167
1) Sunnah of the successors as law source 167
2) The successors and male circumcision 168
3) The successors and female circumcision 170
Section V – Position of the classic Muslim jurists 171
1) Importance of the classic jurists 171
2) Classic jurists and circumcision 171
3) Examples of classic jurists’ positions 172
4) Present religious debate on circumcision 173
Section VI – Secondary arguments 173
1) Circumcision is necessary for purification 174
2) Circumcision as a distinctive emblem of Muslims 174
3) Custom 176
Section VII – Consequences of circumcision 177
1) Obligatory character of Muslim norms 177
2) Circumcision between advisable and permitted 178
3) Death penalty for uncircumcision 178
4) Prayer, pilgrimage, slaughtering of animals 179
5) Marriage with the uncircumcised 180
6) Funeral of the uncircumcised 181
7) Incrimination of circumcision 182
Section VIII – Muslim circumcision operation 183
1) Person submitted to circumcision 183
A) All males born Muslim 183
B) Converts and enemies 185
C) The one who is born or converts circumcised 186
D) Hermaphrodite and the one who has two penises 187
2) Participants in the circumcision ritual 187
3) Modes of male and female circumcision 188
4) Destiny of amputated parts 189
5) Ritual of circumcision 190

Part III – The medical debate 193
Chapter I – Relationship between clergy and physicians 193
1) Conflict between science and religion 193
2) The religious and medical debate over circumcision 195
A) Circumcision: divine order, not medical 195
B) Circumcision proves religion’s veracity 196
C) Circumcision has no relation to religion 197
D) Physicians must not take account of religion 197
Chapter II – Trivializations and exaggerations of circumcision 198
1) Divergent positions concerning male and female circumcision 198
A) Condemnation of female circumcision 198
B) Acceptance of both male and female circumcision 198
C) Condemnation of both male and female circumcision 198
2) Reasons behind these positions 198
A) Non-medical reasons 198
B) Medical reasons 199
Chapter III – Circumcision and pain 202
1) Who doesn’t suffer: the child or others? 202
A) Negation of children’s pain 202
B) Do newborns feel pain? 204
C) Reasons behind the negation of children’s pain 205
D) Boys’ pain and girls’ pain 207
2) Reduction of pain 208
A) Majority of circumcisions performed without anesthesia 208
B) Religious reasons behind non utilization of anesthesia 208
C) Anesthesia delays the abolition of circumcision 209
Chapter IV – Health damages of circumcision 210
1) Trivialization and negation of circumcision’s damages 210
A) Religious reasons 210
B) Ignorance of the link between damage and circumcision 211
C) Absence of comparison means 212
2) Health damages of male circumcision 212
A) Difference in perception between proponents and opponents 212
B) List of damages 214
3) Health damages of female circumcision 217
A) Damages between Proponents and opponents 217
B) List of damages 218
4) Feelings of entrapment 220
Chapter V – Sexual damages from circumcision 220
1) Male circumcision and sexual pleasure 220
A) Ancients saw in it a means to reduce pleasure 220
B) Opponents see in it a means to reduce pleasure 222
C) Proponents see in it a means to increase pleasure 223
2) Female circumcision and sexual pleasure 227
A) Ancients saw in it a means to reduce pleasure 227
B) Opponents see in it a means to reduce pleasure 227
C) Proponents see in it a means to increase pleasure 228
3) Link between circumcision and drugs 232
A) Male circumcision and drugs 232
B) Female circumcision and drugs 232
4) Link between circumcision and homosexuality 233
A) Male circumcision and homosexuality 233
B) Female circumcision and homosexuality 235
5) Circumcision and marital life 235
A) Male circumcision and marital life 235
B) Female circumcision and marital life 236
Chapter VI – Supposed health advantages of circumcision 237
Section I – Circumcision and cleanliness 238
1) Cleanliness in ancient texts 238
2) Cleanliness in Arab and Muslim writings 238
3) Cleanliness in Western sources 239
Section II – Circumcision and prevention of masturbation 240
1) Masturbation in Arab and Muslim sources 240
A) Muslims and masturbation 240
B) Circumcision and masturbation 241
2) Masturbation in Western sources 242
A) Jews, Christians and masturbation 242
B) Circumcision and masturbation 246
b) Surgical means 247
Section III – Circumcision and sickness 252
1) Circumcision and prevention of illnesses 252
A) Circumcision and prevention in ancient texts 252
B) Circumcision and prevention in the West 253
C) Circumcision and prevention in Arab and African texts 254
2) Venereal disease 255
A) Arab sources 255
B) Western sources 255
3) Penile and cervical cancer 256
A) Arab sources 256
B) Western sources 257
4) Phimosis and paraphimosis 260
A) Arab sources 260
B) Western sources 261
5) Urinary tract infection 264
A) Arab sources 264
B) Western sources 264
6) AIDS 265
A) Personal experience 266
B) Arab sources 267
C) Western sources 268
7) Position of the medical organizations 270
Chapter VII – Foreskin restoration 272
1) Foreskin restoration in history 273
2) Foreskin restoration in our time 275
3) Reasons behind foreskin restoration in our time 276
4) Positions against foreskin restoration 277

Part IV – The social debate 279
Chapter I – From self-mutilation to cultural mutilation 279
1) Self-mutilation between spirits and psychiatry 279
2) Role of religion 281
3) Masochism 282
4) Instinct of life and death 282
5) Environmental influence 282
6) Trickery and simulation 283
7) Evolution of incentives 283
8) Psychoanalysis of Abraham’s circumcision 284
9) Care of self-mutilation 285
10) Transition from self-mutilation to cultural mutilation 286
Chapter II – Influence of the milieu on circumcision 288
1) Family’s influence 288
2) Society’s influence 289
3) Professional influence 290
4) Dominant culture influence 291
5) Marking the difference 293
Chapter III – Influence of religion on circumcision 294
1) Religious mythology as a means of explanation 294
2) Circumcision as a sacrifice to divinities 296
3) Religion as additive factor to justify circumcision 297
Chapter IV – Circumcision and control of sexual instinct 298
1) Circumcision and negative perceptions of sex 298
2) Means of sexual control 298
3) Male circumcision, one means of control 299
4) Female circumcision: one means of control 300
Chapter V – Circumcision and marriage 303
1) Circumcision, operation of sex separation 303
2) Circumcision, aesthetic operation of sexual appeal 304
A) Male circumcision and aesthetics 305
B) Female circumcision and aesthetics 306
3) Circumcision as a preparation and condition for marriage 307
A) Male circumcision and marriage 307
B) Female circumcision and marriage 308
4) Circumcision, fertility and birth control 309
A) Male circumcision and fertility 309
B) Female circumcision and fertility 311
C) Female circumcision and birth control 311
Chapter VI – Circumcision in tribal and communal systems 312
1) Circumcision: sign of covenant and solidarity 312
2) Circumcision as an initiation ritual 314
3) Circumcision as an outlet of violence 316
4) From tribe’s to physicians’ and an army’s domination 317
Chapter VII – Circumcision and the instinct of domination 319
1) Oedipus complex and castration anxiety 320
2) Circumcision as a sign of envy between the two sexes 322
3) Female circumcision as a means of domination between the sexes 323
4) Circumcision: between love and sadism 326
5) Circumcision as trickery 329
Chapter VIII – Circumcision and economic factors 331
1) Economic roots of circumcision 331
2) Profit as expansion factor of circumcision 335
A) Circumcision as source of income 335
B) Circumcision and medical instruments trade 338
C) Circumcision and foreskin trade 339
3) Circumcision and insurances 340
4) Circumcision and weapon of money 342
5) Circumcision and national economy 344
A) Male circumcision and national economy 344
B) Female circumcision and national economy 345
Chapter IX – Circumcision and political factors 347
1) Jews, circumcision and political conflict 347
A) Opposition to male circumcision and anti-Semitism 347
B) Reasons behind spreading of male circumcision by Jews 350
C) Jews in the struggle against female circumcision 352
2) Muslims, circumcision and political conflict 354
A) Opposition to female circumcision and anti-Islam 354
B) Opposition to male circumcision and anti-religion 358
3) Circumcision and colonial conflict 359
A) Colonial West and female circumcision 359
B) The postcolonial West and female circumcision 362
C) The West and the double standards 365
4) Circumcision and feminist conflict 367
Chapter X – Psychological and social effects of circumcision 368
1) Circumcision trauma and the child 369
A) Denial of circumcision trauma 369
B) Male circumcision trauma 370
C) Female circumcision trauma 372
2) Circumcision and relations with parents 373
3) Circumcision and relations with society 374
A) One only gives what one possesses 374
B) Regression of self-esteem 375
C) Mutilation of others 375
D) Apathy 376
E) Violence and antisocial behavior 377
F) Rape 378
G) Child sexual abuse 379
H) Suicide 379
I) Theft 380
J) Wars and armed conflicts 380
Chapter XI – Educational and psychological measures against circumcision 381
1) Global survey and breaking the wall of silence 381
2) Activism on religious level 382
A) Heal, censor or remove 382
B) Enlist religious authorities 383
C) Vaccinate the people 383
3) Raise the educational, cultural and social level 386
4) Effective methods of communication 387
5) Healing psychological effects of circumcision 388

Part V – The legal debate 391
Chapter I – Historical legal prohibition of male circumcision 391
1) Historical prohibition of male circumcision 392
2) Prohibition of male circumcision in modern times 394
Chapter II – International condemnation of female circumcision 396
1) UNO and specialized organizations 396
2) Council of Europe 401
3) Organization of African Unity 402
Chapter III – National condemnation of female circumcision 403
1) Western countries 403
A) Switzerland 404
B) France 405
D) Other countries 407
2) African countries: case of Egypt 409
Chapter IV – NGOs opposed to female and male circumcision 414
1) NGOs opposed to female circumcision 414
A) Inter-African committee 414
B) Rainbo 415
C) Egyptian society for prevention of harmful practices 416
D) Egyptian female genital mutilation task force 416
E) World medical association 417
F) International council of nurses 418
G) Amnesty International 418
H) International commission of jurists 420
2) NGOs opposed to male and female circumcision 421
A) NOCIRC 421
B) Nurses for the rights of the child 422
C) Doctors opposing circumcision 423
D) Attorneys for the rights of the child 423
E) Other organizations 425
F) Demand made to the International court of justice 425
Chapter V – Circumcision and human rights 426
1) Legislature’s silence concerning male circumcision 426
2) Male and female circumcisions and non-discrimination 429
A) The principle of non-discrimination 429
B) Lack of reasons for discrimination 431
3) Circumcision and religious and cultural rights 436
A) Pretensions of communities 436
B) Priority of individual fundamental rights 440
4) Circumcision and the right to physical integrity and life 444
5) Circumcision, degrading treatment and torture 446
6) Circumcision and the right to modesty 449
7) Circumcision and respect of the dead 451
Chapter VI – Circumcision and medical dispensation 452
1) Medical necessity 452
A) Prevention and care 452
B) Right to discipline 455
C) Circumcision as an aesthetic operation 456
2) Informed consent of the patient or his representative 458
A) Informed consent 459
B) Consent before the operation 460
C) Consent of the patient or his representative 461
3) Authorization to exercise medicine respecting medical norms 471
A) The principle 471
B) Application of principle in Israel and in West 471
C) Application of the principle in Egypt 474
Chapter VII – Interdiction of circumcision between ideal and feasibility 476
1) Law and extensively spread practices 477
2) Social customs are hard to abolish 478
A) Difficulties in discovering the crime and pursuing It 478
B) Difficulty of determining responsibility 480
C) Ignorance of the law 481
3) Circumcision between revolution and evolution 482
4) Is law necessary? 486
5) Applicable law or law-scarecrow? 490
6) Law as part of general plan 492
Chapter VIII – Circumcision and political asylum 493
1) International texts and official positions 494
2) Circumcision as persecution 495
3) Women as social group 497
4) Invoking circumcision as trickery 500
5) Asylum for women and men 501
Conclusion 503
Bibliography 505
Extensive table of contents 523

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