For a moment, forget the Holocaust. A German court has just upheld a decision that male circumcision in infancy is unlawful, a genital mutilation already condemned when applied to female infants whatever the religious or cultural beliefs of the parents. The court has held that such a procedure requires informed consent; if an adult male child of Jewish or Moslem parents decides to adopt the faith, then he is perfectly free to sacrifice his foreskin as affirmation.
This is the absolutely logical application of individual rights established in the late twentieth century; women were no longer to be the chattels of their husbands, to be tupped whether they wanted to or nay, and children were no longer to be the property of their parents, to be starved, beaten or maltreated at will until their majority. If branding an infant with a cigarette is unlawful, why not mutilating its genitals?
The outcry from the Jewish lobby has predictably been based not on grounds of moral philosophy, but on the emotive trigger of the Holocaust. It is doubly unfortunate that it was a German court rather than a Dutch or Danish one that condemned the practice. Yet this is the remorseless direction in which European courts must rule; it is only a matter of time before the matter comes before our own Supreme Court. It is the only possible outcome of a social shift that has placed the rights of the individual as supreme in a secular world.