New European rights

So, a proposal for a new set of rights:

There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant. This is especially important as far as freedom of expression is concerned: that freedom must not be abused to defame other groups.

Err, yes, there is. You don’t have to put up with libel or incitement to violence but yes, you do have to be tolerant of the intolerant.

161 thoughts on “New European rights”

  1. I haven’t read the whole piece, but Jewish leaders are calling for an end to *female* circumcision? Thin ice springs to mind!

  2. There are so many blithering fucking idiots who don’t understand that freedom of speech is not freedom of speech if it comes with a whole raft of restrictions on who you cannot offend, that I’m beginning to wonder whether there are any principles which are still upheld these days.

    I have thought about this in the context of international commerce and business, and I suppose it applies to culture as well. Once the rest of the world caught up with us in technology and manufacturing, our differentiator was that we upheld principles which, ultimately, worked out very well for us in the long run. Things like delivering on agreements, trust, playing fair. From what I’ve seen, western companies seem to be engaging more and more in the sort of sharp practices which are the norm in Asia, the ME, and Africa: corner-cutting, fucking people over on contracts, lying, etc. In other words, we’re abandoning our main differentiator and deciding to play the world’s con artists at their own game on their own turf. This will not end well for us.

    And it looks to be the same with politics and culture: we’re abandoning the very things which separated us from the shitholes in the first place. Tell me, if we have to live in a country bereft of principles such as freedom of speech what is the point of choosing one which is cold, wet, and expensive? Might as well just move somewhere warmer.

  3. I read about this particular Daft Framework Document some time ago, so presumably they’re giving it a push in a Shock Doctrine kind of a way after the Paris Jihad Attack.

    The “group libel” provision, if applied equally (haha!) would of course prohibit 90% of what activists leftists come out with, including notably the entirety of feminism. But of course it is only to be used to protect the Proggies’ special friends. Everyone else can be group libelled as usual.

    I seem to recall that it intends to explicitly outlaw anti-feminism, so I will go to the EULAG, and Ironman will be pleased.

  4. And yes, Jews pontificating about genital mutilation is rich indeed. A particularly noteworthy recent example was Lynn Featherstone (Jewish) standing on the anti-FGM platform saying, I kid you not, “If this were done to boys, it would be stopped in 10 seconds…”. Srsly.

  5. The But qua is a personal expression. On e may not like this expression, but that is what it is. If one wishes to ban the bur qua then one is against freedom of expression.

  6. Well, yes, but. There’s (more than) two forms of FGM. One involves cutting the prepuce and is akin to standard male circumcision. Another is to cut off the clitoris and is more akin to amputation of the penis. Slightly different things really.

  7. As for anti-Semitism–well this moronic shite would be used against those who want to stop the cultural enrichment that is the chief source of anti-Semitism in the West anyway. If Jews are nervous in this country it ain’t because of UKIP.

  8. You don’t normally equivocate, Mr Worstall. Is it ok if I pop round yours and lop the end of your knob off?

  9. Tim-

    The FGM crowd make no distinction, in females. Neither should anybody else. Genital mutilation is genital mutilation. The point is that a culture which cuts genitals for purely ritual reasons has no right to pontificate on the matter.

  10. Jewish leaders call for Europe-wide legislation outlawing antisemitism

    Because jihadist loonies respect the fuck out of legislation.

    A panel of four prestigious international experts on constitutional law backed by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) have spent three years consulting widely and drafting a 12-page document on “tolerance”. They are lobbying to have it converted into law in the 28 countries of the EU.

    Uh huh.

    The proposal would outlaw antisemitism as well as criminalising a host of other activities deemed to be violating fundamental rights on specious religious, cultural, ethnic and gender grounds.

    Sounds pretty specious to me too.

    These would include banning the burqa, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, polygamy, denial of the Holocaust and genocide generally, criminalising xenophobia, and creating a new crime of “group libel” – public defamation of ethnic, cultural or religious groups. Women’s and gay rights would also be covered.

    The proposed legislation would also curb, in the wake of the Paris attacks, freedom of expression on grounds of tolerance and in the interests of security.

    Nah.

    “Tolerance” isn’t worth a slippery fart if it has to be imposed through totalitarianism.

    Do fuck off, “Jewish leaders”.

    The panel of experts drafting the proposal includes a retired Italian supreme court judge, a former King’s College professor, and the former head of Germany’s prestigious Max Planck Institute. The panel was chaired by Yoram Dinstein, a war crimes expert, professor and former president of Tel Aviv university.

    So a guy from (formerly fascist) Italy, one from (formerly Nazi) Germany, and one from (present-day authoritarian) Israel are giving Britain – the country that invented liberty – our marching orders?

    Do fuck off times ∞.

    Education in tolerance should be mandatory from primary school to university, and for the military and the police, while public broadcasting must “devote a prescribed percentage of their programmes to promoting a climate of tolerance”.

    How very fucking Orwellian of you.

    And how very fucking stupid. Mustapha Jihad doesn’t give a fiddler’s fart about your “education”, he wants you to submit or die.

  11. @Ian B

    Precisely.

    I must say, I am astonished at their lack of awareness. Do they not know that laws enacted against people you don’t like pretty much always end up being turned on people you do like?

  12. I’m with Tim on circumcision, there isn’t the equivalence certain of us would like to believe. There is about to be about 10,000 words written to tell us we’re wrong; won’t change it though.

  13. This was a deft bit of rhetorical sleight-of-hand though:

    In Hungary, which has a long record of antisemitism and has a nationalist rightwing government in power, the demands were laughed away, said Dinstein, adding: “The government wouldn’t touch it with a long pole.”

    At a European parliament committee hearing, he said, Britain’s UK Independence party (Ukip) was strongly opposed.

    Did you catch that?

    Hungary has a “long record of antisemitism”.

    Hungary currently has a “nationalist rightwing” government who are opposed to this proposal for Death Camps of Tolerance.

    UKIP are also opposed…

    It would be more subtle if they had photoshopped Nigel Farage cuddling Eva Braun.

  14. Ironman doing his usual “I believe what I believe because I believe it” schtick, then. Quelle surprise. Of course it’s equivalent.

  15. KJ – people who are minded to do so should be encouraged to join ISIS. We should even throw in free air transportation, after they come forward to identify themselves and undergo painless biometric testing.

    I can’t think if a better way to entice the snakes out of their caves. Let a hundred jihadist flowers bloom.

  16. Just as the Green Party where gaining somewhat in the polls, where Ms Bennett’s comments ill-advised and thus pare back those gains, I think they might well do.

  17. Do they actually have official memberships anyway? Like, you join and get a membership card, some 8x10s of Bin Laden, and all the latest fab news about the boys in Syria, that kind of thing?

  18. And one of those kits where you use iron filings and a magnet to put a jihadi beard on a drawn face. Haven’t seen those in years.

  19. Current Proggie thinking is so very confusing at the moment. Only yesterday the Chief Green Loon said that membership if IS is okey-dokey, so presumably IS will come under the “Axis of Tolerance”. Strange though – weren’t the Khymer Vert saying only recently that people who are sceptical on climate change should be sacked from Government jobs?

    So IS – OK, physicists – Not OK.

    As for “Jewish Leaders”, they have for years and years showed a fantastic ability to ignore the real danger and fight the paper tiger of “right-wing extremism”. This law will in fact be used to protect Islamists who persecute them. They are fools.

  20. Ian B – it operates much like the Dennis The Menace fan club.

    You get some colourful badges with Bin Laden and Anjem Choudry on them, and you find out the secret passwords:

    M*I*N*G – Mohammed Is Never Gay

    M*O*N*G – Mohammed Owns Naughty Galloway

  21. Mr Ecks – Plus an invisible ink pen and a book to put their bubblegum trading cards in.

    They also have a version of Jenga based on the WTC, an Osama bin Laden edition of “Where’s Wally?” (recently declined in popularity), and their own take on Cluedo where the culprit is always The Jew.

  22. There’s also a version specially for women, in which the playing pieces are Mrs Black, Mrs Black, Mrs Black, Mrs Black, Mrs Black and Mrs Black.

  23. “There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant.”

    It shows how far down the rabbit hole we have gone that they aren’t even embarrassed about writing that. A comment like that should be laughed off the page in the comments, even on “Comment is Free”.

  24. @Ironman

    ‘I’m with Tim on circumcision, there isn’t the equivalence certain of us would like to believe. There is about to be about 10,000 words written to tell us we’re wrong; won’t change it though.’

    I say putting a knife to the genitals (or any part of the body) of any child, or indeed any uninformed and unconsenting person, for reasons other than medical, is wrong.

    (In the case of unconsenting adults, it’s probably wrong even for medical reasons, but that’s a different issue.)

    You say it’s OK with male children but not female?

    How about you use a few of those words to explain to us why there isn’t ‘equivalence’, rathe than just stating it as fact?

  25. Interested – I say putting a knife to the genitals (or any part of the body) of any child […] is wrong

    Agree x1000

    There is no good reason to circumcise a child.

    It is illegal to have your dog’s tail docked. Why do British children not enjoy the same protection for their genitals that even the mangiest of mutts do for their wagging devices?

    If anybody truly believes their god told them to snip off part of an innocent baby’s reproductive equipment, the answer to that is simple:

    “No He fucking didn’t.”

  26. Of course it’s worth noting that there is a regression here; if the tolerant are not tolerant to the intolerant, then they are now also intolerant. So should not be tolerated. And so on.

  27. Female circumcision does not have the same effect as male circumcision, but the principle is largely the same. You’d have thought the Jews would be smart enough to see there are enough similarities to have thought “Erm, maybe we’ll just shut the fuck up on this one, eh?”, but no, they start spouting off.

  28. @Steve

    There is no good reason to circumcise a child.

    There are two:
    Phimosis and paraphimosis (in some circumstances)

  29. Phimosis and paraphimosis (in some circumstances)

    Possibly, but even then probably over prescribed, especially in the cutting crazy USA. Plus, anecdotally, there seems to be a lot of it going on for spurious reasons here. My elderly next door neighbour was summarily circumcised by his doctor without any proper consent, quote-

    “‘E just said, ‘we’ll ‘ave that off’ and next thing I knew ‘e’d whipped it off!”

    -and I know a couple of other personal anecdotal cases of arbitrary circumcision.

    Doctors get into a habit of stereotypical treatments, like taking out tonsils and adenoids at the slightest provocation. The question of how often surgical interevention is really necessary is debatable, I think.

  30. As a roundhead in the circumcision wars I can only say that when the op was done, (during the early stages of adolescence), I was extremely relieved that the strange occurences to my willy no longer hurt and that the build-up of smegma could be easily curtailed.

    Whether it’s right that all boys should be ritually snipped or not, I’m not sure. Perhaps there was at one stage a genetic predisposition to phimosis in Jewish, (or Semitic), boys and the practice became codified in law, in which case the law should be re-examined in light of new evidence.

    Or, perhaps the elders were aware of the irritation caused by sand underneath the foreskin and wanted to save the youngsters the problem.

  31. @Dr Cromarty

    That’s why *I* said ‘putting a knife to the genitals (or any part of the body) of any child, or indeed any uninformed and unconsenting person, *for reasons other than medical*, is wrong.’

  32. > a version of Jenga based on the WTC

    [applause] OK, someone needs to market that. In all seriousness, it would make a fucking fortune. And all the advertising would be free.

  33. Knifing the genitals to ensure that the child grows up to never experience sexual pleasure is not the same as doing it for whatever stupid reason Jews have for doing it to boys. And if the Jewish tradition was to achieve that aim in Men then, er, it would not be in a tradition.

    So yes, those who have no problem ceremonial male circumcision are not all that well placed to point fingers at the FGM butchers, but the intent and effect of the respective procedures are fundamentally different. One is cruel and pointless, the other is cruel and inexplicably fucking evil.

    Put it this way, if anyone here were forced to undergo Jewish style mutilation, or something with the effect of FGM, it wouldn’t take long to choose.. and absolutely nobody would say ‘who cares, they’re both the same’.

  34. @interested
    That’s why *I* said ‘putting a knife to the genitals (or any part of the body) of any child, or indeed any uninformed and unconsenting person, *for reasons other than medical*, is wrong

    I don’t think anything I wrote could be construed as being in disagreement with that.

  35. TTG-

    All the evidence is that the two procedures have the same ritual origin. Every FGM culture is also an MGM culture, but the converse is not true, suggesting that FGM is a “girls as well” principle.

    The error is to use a feminist (fraid so) class analysis and thus see women and men as homogenous classes in conflict. The idea that one man would not do something harmful to another man because they are on the same (class war) side doesn’t fit reality.

    The epicentre of genital butchery is somewhere in the middle east. Which tribal shaman first thought it up, and what precisely his reasoning was, we will never know. But to believe that somehow FGM and MGM are distinct practices is simply wrong. FGM is not done to girls because of misognyny. It is part of the pre-modern concepts of purity and cleanliness which infest the region (and the Bible, and other local cults)- which are quite distinct from modern western ideas of “clean”.

    Boys and girls are cut for the same reason. Because their ancestors did it. And why they did it- in the sense of why they formed the concepts of ritual purity they did- we will never know. But it really is time it came to an end, and not as part of a gender war.

  36. Also, to address the particular issue, rabbinical sources do say that male circumcision is intended to reduce the male sexual impulse. This is because as a holy people, they should be above that kind of thing, or something.

    Makes wanking more difficult for a start (the same excuse as powered much of the cutting craze in the USA).

  37. Many years ago, I lost a few days of my life to arguing the circumcision case with Ian B on Samizadata. Not going to bother with that again. But I will just make two key points and then not bother pursuing them because life’s too short.

    Firstly, religions are not just sets of beliefs; they are also groups of people. Group membership is very valuable to most people. When weighing the harm done by circumcision, it therefore makes sense to take that into account. The comparison is not merely physical harm versus no physical harm; it is physical harm and group membership and social cohesion versus no physical harm and no group membership and decreased social cohesion.

    Now, I’m an atheist, so, for me, basing group membership on something like circumcision seems crazy. But, as an atheist, there’s no reason any Jews should give a fuck what I think about the tenets of their religion. I don’t get to define Judaism.

    Have Judaism and Jewry turned into appalling oppressive forces for evil on Earth? Markedly less so than most other races and religions, it seems. Are Jewish men horrifically oppressed? Well, no, they seem OK.

    When it comes to FGM, can we say similar things? No. I think you need to bend yourself through some very impressive rhetorical contortions to say that the communities that practice it are treating their women just spiffingly and seem to be, on balance, a force for good and peace in the world.

    Secondly, if you really must insist on trying to ban male circumcision, at least admit that you are trying to expel the Jews. If you think you are not doing so, you are in denial of reality. Again, non-Jews don’t get to define Judaism. Saying “But I’m not trying to expel Jews because they could simply change their religion to suit me” is essentially meaningless noise — and is also exactly equivalent to the demand that you change your principles to suit Judaism.

  38. Nobody is talking about banning circumcision or expelling the Jews, or denying them “group membership”. We’re talking about a basic liberal- and libertarian- principle of not forcing their morbid practices on people who cannot consent to them. Everyone will be entirely free to undergo whatever extreme body mods they like when old enough. Circumcision is imposed on infants without any possible consent. It is irreversible. It forces them into your lovely group whether they want to be in it or not.

    As to the male vs female thing, this is a Western cod-feminist perspective. Women in FGM societies just see it as normal, and older women are the primary ones who inflict it on their daughters. It is normally a woman wielding the sharpened tin can lid. Notably, infant mutilation is also the responsibility of the mother in Judaism. There may be a pattern here. The womens’ rights discourse just doesn’t fit; but unfortunately its primary principle- that only girls matter- drives this debate.

    More boys are circumcised than girls. Female circumcision is a subset of male circumcision. The problem lies in ritual mutilation, not gender.

    And I am not bothered by any Jew who leaves because they are so obsessed with this fetish that they cannot do without it. They know where the airport is.

  39. @S2

    I don’t think many of us would argue that if you want to get yourself circumcised to gain the benefits of membership of (to us) a weird cult you should be able to do so.

    It’s inflicting it on tiny children we’re questioning.

    I am certainly not trying to ‘expel Jews’* – a very BroCulture Dave-ish argument, if I may say so (BroCulture Dave being the guy who sees everything as veiled anti-semitism).

    For clarity, I think the Jewish population of Britain is pretty much an unalloyed benefit, and I wish we had more British Jews. Peaceable, intelligent, prosperous, what’s not to like.

    All I’m actually saying that it’s unwise for ‘Jewish leaders’ to argue against FGM, because circumcision.

    *Muslims also practice circumcision of baby boys, and I’m not arguing for their expulsion either.

  40. Squander Two – In all seriousness, it would make a fucking fortune

    Not sure there’s a fortune to be made in Islamist pub games, but thank you. 🙂

    if you really must insist on trying to ban male circumcision, at least admit that you are trying to expel the Jews

    No. Because I’m not. Cutting off a poor screaming infant’s foreskin is wrong, for the same reason cutting off a dog’s tail is wrong, and for the same reason snipping off a child’s little toe would be wrong. It is medically unnecessary and needlessly cruel.

    I bet you anything that if we banned IGM, our snip-happy religious communities would discover that, actually, God’s fine with letting the child wait till he’s an adult to make that decision for himself.

    I’m sure these “Jewish leaders” in the Guardian article will understand, since they propose to abolish what remains of free speech in Europe for The Greater Good. Protecting children is the greatest good of all.

  41. > Everyone will be entirely free to undergo whatever extreme body mods they like when old enough.

    12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed.

    So you say that the minimum age for this is, say, eighteen years; maybe sixteen, maybe twenty-one, whatever. Judaism says the only age for it is eight days. Your definition of “when old enough” is at odds with that of Judaism. You are demanding that Judaism be redefined to suit your beliefs. It obviously never will be. You want the actions of Jews to be criminalised if they act according to the tenets of Judaism instead of your demands. There is no other realistically conceivable outcome of that than that the Jews leave the country.

    > Nobody is talking about banning circumcision or expelling the Jews … They know where the airport is.

    Were you actually trying to satirise yourself there?

  42. We’re talking about a basic liberal- and libertarian- principle of not forcing their morbid practices on people who cannot consent to them.

    Quite.

    S2, replace “male circumcision” with any other compulsory religious/cultural child body mod (e.g. foot binding, neck lengthening, lip embiggening) and “Jews” with a culture that practices it. Are you consistent in your criticism of critics of the practice as de facto wanting to repatriate those people?

  43. You are demanding that Judaism be redefined to suit your beliefs.

    Plainly literally untrue, this is just your inference.

    The literal demand is, “don’t harm the child.”

  44. Interested,

    > All I’m actually saying that it’s unwise for ‘Jewish leaders’ to argue against FGM, because circumcision.

    Why? Judaism has a millenia-long history of making value judgements. Why should they stop now? Because some non-Jewish atheists are literal-minded and can’t see the wood for the trees?

    TTG has it right:

    > Put it this way, if anyone here were forced to undergo Jewish style mutilation, or something with the effect of FGM, it wouldn’t take long to choose.. and absolutely nobody would say ‘who cares, they’re both the same’.

    Why shouldn’t Jewish leaders be able to make that same, extremely easy, obvious value judgement?

  45. @S2

    Not speaking for Ian B, but when he said ‘they know where the airport is’ I thought he was saying that people who don’t want to abide by the law of the land (if it were so amended) would be free to leave.

    If so, that is not that same thing at all as expelling anyone (though I note the slight illogic in saying both that no-one wants to ban the practice but that anyone who doesn’t like it if it is banned can leave).

  46. “You’d have thought the Jews would be smart enough to see there are enough similarities to have thought..”

    Do you really want to say it like that: “the Jews”?

  47. @S2

    ‘Why? Judaism has a millenia-long history of making value judgements. Why should they stop now?’

    It depends what they want to achieve.

    If they want to achieve a law banning FGM and then as night follows day a law banning MGM (not the studio) then sure, they should go ahead.

    All I’m saying is that they are unwise if they want to achieve some other end.

  48. Squander, I said that anyone who cannot live under a law that protects children is free to leave. Nobody is being expelled. Religious obligations do not and never have taken precedence over the law. Notably, nobody is suggesting that the “group membership” and religious obligations involved in FGM are a valid justification, are they? Because they are not.

  49. no-one wants to ban the practice but that anyone who doesn’t like it if it is banned can leave).

    I do want to ban the practise of infant circumcision. I said I don’t care what adults do with their bodies. They can chop their whole knob off if they like. Some do.

    Also, it wouldn’t actually be a ban as such, since infant circumcision is giving a special provision. You just remove that, and you’re done.

  50. ukliberty – The literal demand is, “don’t harm the child.”

    Quite so.

    People are free to believe whatever they choose.

    They’re free to believe in stoning adulterers, drowning witches, and practicing suttee.

    But if they tried to put those beliefs into action in Britain, they would – rightly – be jailed. Is that a value judgement that infringes on sincerely-held minority beliefs?

    Yes. Live with it.

    It’s not anti-semitic to oppose taking a knife to the penises of helpless little British boys, be they gentile, Jew or Muslim. Quite the contrary. A racist bigot wouldn’t give a stuff about Jewish or Muslim children.

    Leave them kids alone.

  51. UKL,

    >> You are demanding that Judaism be redefined to suit your beliefs.
    > Plainly literally untrue, this is just your inference.

    Well, what Ian’s actually demanding is that Jews be expelled from the country — sorry, no, that every last one of them chooses to leave the country so that those who want them gone aren’t sullied with the Jew-expulsion brush. But he insists that he’s not. He insists that of course they can stay, as long as they stop practicing one of the key tenets of their religion. He claims that it’s perfectly OK for them to make major changes to that tenet in order to comply with his wishes. The inescapable implication of these claims is that Judaism be redefined to suit the demands of Ian B. But you’re right: obviously that’s bollocks. Which was my point: what would actually happen, if Ian B were to get his way, is that the UK would become Judenrein. Calloo, callay, etc. Meanwhile, Ian would be shrugging and saying “Well, I did not see that coming.” Please.

    As I said umpteen years ago, at least fascists expel the Jews deliberately. It takes a libertarian to do it by accident.

    > replace “male circumcision” with any other compulsory religious/cultural child body mod (e.g. foot binding, neck lengthening, lip embiggening) and “Jews” with a culture that practices it.

    Why? I already said above I’m prefectly willing to make value judgements, so I don’t need to back up your claim that all body mods are exactly the same. They’re not. If we’d had a subculture in Britain for the last thousand years who’d been a boon to our society and whose religion insisted that they start expanding their children’s lips from the age of two and whose adults were generally happy to have big lips, I would probably not consider it worth chucking them all out of the country in order to bring about Utopia. Hard to say, though, as it’s a hypothesis with thousands of unknowable variables.

    > Are you consistent in your criticism of critics of the practice as de facto wanting to repatriate those people?

    I am consistent in my belief that pros and cons should be weighed up. I don’t like circumcision and don’t support it. If I had a male child, I wouldn’t circumcise him for non-medical reasons. But what would I rather have: male circumcision banned or Jews being allowed to live in Britain? Is that supposed to be a tough question?

    And what on Earth do you mean by “repatriate”? Jews? Seriously?

  52. Oh, good grief. Any law passed is offering people the same choice, Squander. Stop being so hysterical. As I pointed out, FGM is also a deeply held belief by its practicioners, but I don’t see any “you’re trying to expel them” screaming going on.

    The basic point here is that Judaism isn’t sacred. Even if the Jews think it is. Add to that that many Jews have been highly active in, whaddyacall, “Campaigning for social change”, and your argument is entirely threadbare. Jews are a highly intelligent culture who are quite capable of thinking their way through this, not some uneducated bunch of natives living in the scrub; though funnily enough, everyone (including Jews) thinks its fine to tell them to either stop or face the consequences. The FGM campaigners are happy to tell these other tribal faiths to redefine themselves. Are they not?

    A child protection law would be brought in. Those who really cannot bear it know where the door is.

  53. Steve,

    > They’re free to believe in stoning adulterers, drowning witches, and practicing suttee.

    So that’s killing, killing, and killing. Which you are comparing to a procedure that kills precisely no-one. Yeah, seems reasonable.

    > It’s not anti-semitic to oppose taking a knife to the penises of helpless little British boys, be they gentile, Jew or Muslim.

    Who said it was antisemitic? Not me. It’s worse than that: it’s an idea that can achieve broad popularity with people who aren’t antisemitic but that inevitably leads to having a Judenrein country.

  54. > FGM is also a deeply held belief by its practicioners, but I don’t see any “you’re trying to expel them” screaming going on.

    The problem is that you appear to be incapable of noticing whether or not you are comparing like with like.

    Anyway, I will stop now. Been there, done that.

  55. “public defamation of ethnic, cultural or religious groups. ”

    ‘Defamation’ = mild criticism. People are going to be prosecuted for criticising or joking about religion. I expect the producers of “The Book of Mormon” stage show are shitting themselves.

    A de facto blasphemy law in 21st century Europe. How Progressive!

  56. Squander Two – So that’s killing, killing, and killing. Which you are comparing to a procedure that kills precisely no-one. Yeah, seems reasonable.

    I detect sarcasm.

    Sure, killing isn’t the same as genital mutilation. But they’re both cruel. They’re both cases where we have made a value judgement that says religious minorities are not entitled to harm others in the exercise of their ancient beliefs.

    Who said it was antisemitic? […] but that inevitably leads to having a Judenrein country.

    So you’re not saying it’s anti-semitic, merely heavily implying it by using Nazi terminology?

    OK.

    I disagree, by the way, with the idea that Jews would flee Britain en masse if they were legally required to keep knives away from the penises of their babies.

    How many Jews put tzitzit on the corners of their clothing, or bind phylacteries to their heads? The Torah says they must, those things aren’t forbidden by British law, but the vast majority of English Jews happily ignore those tenets of their faith.

    So I’m sceptical of this idea that there’d be a queue of Jews and their unhappily foreskinned sons at Heathrow if we decided British boys deserve the same legal protection against unnecessary surgery that we extend to dogs.

  57. Squander-

    The problem is that you appear to be incapable of noticing whether or not you are comparing like with like.

    That’s your problem mate. You’re trying to find an arbitrary distinction because of your sympathy for Jews; which is laudable, but misplaced. They are like and like.

  58. Jews are a highly intelligent culture who are quite capable of thinking their way through this

    and they differ in their religious practices, they aren’t all unthinking automatons adhering in exactly the same way to a monolithic set of rules.

    This idea of S2’s that they will all leave if male circumcision is banned seems a bit prejudiced to me.

  59. A de facto blasphemy law in 21st century Europe. How Progressive!

    Mary Whitehouse won after all. I find this morbidly comical.

  60. Do you really want to say it like that: “the Jews”?

    The Welsh, the British, the French, the Chinese, the Catholics, the Sikhs, the Nazis, the Communists, the banjo players.

    Yup, that’s what I meant.

  61. By the way, it’s not just Jews and Muslims that practice circumcision as a matter of course: most African catholics do as well (and possibly more). I know that Nigerians circumcise their kids as a matter of course.

  62. Steve

    The Guardian is under orders to link UKIP/Jobbik at any stage they can – no surprise there. I know a good friend of Murphy and he seems to think Farage is indistinguishable from Hitler. Nothing will dissuade him from the certainty of this position – which is fast becoming ‘mainstream opinion’

    Re: your point on encouraging people to join ISIS,some conspiracy theorists postulate that ISIS is in fact a Mossad plot to bring all the Islamists into one place and then drop a Nuke to wipe them all out. Google ‘Simon Elliot ISIS’ and enjoy the fact that paranoia is not only the preserve of the West.

  63. I am not pro or anti the docking of boys.

    However, unless people agree that this practice puts baby boys at risk they are seriously deluded.

    Like clockwork, you can read every year about a drunken rabbi lobbing off the knob of some poor boy in New York. Good for the parents to have a person to blame and not themselves that were willingly put their child at risk

  64. SQ2: So mutilating the helpless is ok but not killing.

    Having said that I am no advocate of the state doing things for other peoples good. No circumsicion does=no Jews .

    ” Any law passed is offering people the same choice, Squander” Yes Ian–and there are a great many cunts out there who think freedom isn’t sacred either. Send us a postcard from wherever you end up.There are many laws that might be passed that I wouldn’t obey.

    Do you have the right to bring your children up in your faith?–yes you do. Even if your faith involves low level mutilation?. Yes– you do have that right. Where do you draw the line?

    My Mam actually forbade some dick of a Dr ( who said my foreskin was too tight) from circumcising me as a baby. I’ve never had any of the problems he tried to tell my Mam I would have when I grew up. However my Mam and Dad did bring me up as CofE with the values of the white working class of approx 1940 to 1960.. Should they have the right to have imposed those standards/values on me? Should you have the right–any of you–to impose your standards/values on your kids? You can say that is not equivalent to chopping a bit off your dick but those values have stayed with me and I defend them mostly(–apart from socialism–and swearing–so I still have the power to change). They have affected my life far more than any minor op would have done and are much more important. Like it or not circ should stay. Because otherwise the day will come when assorted turds will be agitating to ensure that you are not allowed to “abuse” your kids by showing and teaching them nasty “right-wing” values.

  65. None of the regular contributors to these pages can possibly believe that the right of any adult to cut parts off any child for non medical reasons, on the basis that some version of a priest or an old book said they should, could possibly trump the right to bodily integrity of that child.

    Equally, no-one could believe that a law saying ‘You are not allowed to remove parts of a child’s body for non medical reasons, on the basis that some version of a priest or an old book says you should’ is tantamount to expelling people from the country.

    Thus I conclude that certain regulars are trolling.

    Incidentally, if there haven’t yet been civil cases against religious surgeons I expect there to be, and one day criminal cases too.

  66. No, I don’t think you have the right to indulge in “low level” mutilation. Parents have the right to raise their children as they see fit, but the fundamental rights of the children as persons trump that. Which is why parents (or anyone else) aren’t allowed to fuck them either. Or cut the tips of their fingers off with pliers.

    There simply isn’t a rational defence of it. Which is why I think the rational response to the “We will storm out in a huff” threat is “you know where the door is”.

  67. UKL:
    “standards/values” != “parts of the body”

    Well which would you rather lose–a finger say or be turned into a living example of whatever you presently despise? You tell me which is more important.

    Once the “its for the general good” routine gets kicked off you can’t count on it being kept within the boundaries that you approve of. There are plenty of scumbags who would be only to happy to steer a bandwagon their way. The de-evolved Scotchers are already planning for a commissar to oversee the life of every child.

  68. It’s nothing to do with “the general good” Ecks. Rights aren’t about the general good. They define boundaries around the person. Different thing.

  69. thejollygreenman – This is what I can’t understand: the suggestion that being anti-circumcision is anti-Jewish.

    There really is no such thing as minor surgery where a baby is concerned.

    Circumcision, even if done correctly, is a painful and scarring process. When botched, it can destroy the boy’s life.

    I’m sure there are some closet Neo-Nazis who oppose circumcision for racist reasons, but I’d bet the vast majority of people who are horrified by IGM just don’t want to subject tiny little lads to a horrible, painful, and medically unneccesary ordeal.

    I don’t understand how any father could disagree with protecting little boys in our country – all boys, of all religions – and I’d argue that’s pro-Semitic.

    When we ruled India, we stamped out the custom of roasting widows alive on a funeral pyre when Charles Napier informed the natives:

    “Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.”

    It is our national custom to jail men who hurt babies. Let us live up to it. As David Cameron once said, multiculturalism has failed. We are British. British people don’t snip off the tops of their sons’ willies.

    It is time we ensured that children in this sceptred isle have at least the same rights that dogs do.

  70. Kevin B – I’ve never seen smegma in my life.

    Not sure if it’s a symptom of tight foreskin or not, but I have seen American folks defending circumcision on the grounds that it prevents unhygienic cock cheese.

    But normal penises don’t create any malodorous substances. They are self cleaning. God didn’t make any mistakes when He made us.

  71. IanB: No– the point (no pun intended) stands. If you have no right to interfere with your childs “bodily integrity” what right have you to interfere with his/her mental integrity? Esp by poisoning said mind with values that scum everywhere are trying to ensure are “de-normalised” as fast as possible. Filing a poor helpless childs mind with fascistic ideas about ” personal freedom” and “making your own way in the world” is mental mutilation (so it will be argued) and to be dealt with in the same way that you are now advocating pioneering–take it or fuck off. If you think that is not how it will go then you are naïve to say the least.

  72. God didn’t make any mistakes when He made us.

    Hernia. Menstruation. Nose not self cleaning. Certain optical deterioration with age. Piers Morgan.

  73. Ian B – Hernias are God’s way of telling you not to strain on the toilet.

    Menstruation is part of God’s plan to stop women ruling the world.

    Optical deterioration is because God has shares in Specsavers.

    Piers Morgan is a puzzle for theologians. But God moves in mysterious ways.

  74. Ecks-

    The same argument would force you to allow parents to murder their children. It’s not hard drawing a dividing line on not doing serious/permanent physical damage. As I said above, this is basically an exception. Any equivalent mutilation would feel the full force of law.

    It’s particualrly ironic considering the current attitude to any other interference with juvenile genitals. Fondle a little boy’s penis, you will go to jail. Cut part of it off… apparently fine. Bit silly, isn’t it?

  75. Interested,

    > some version of a priest or an old book says you should

    A.k.a. “it is a fundamental part of your people’s culture”. Wording something derisively doesn’t make the thing itself worth any less.

  76. IanB:”It’s nothing to do with “the general good” Ecks. Rights aren’t about the general good. They define boundaries around the person. Different thing.”

    Doesn’t answer my point. What you now advocate would be an open goal to the enemies of freedom and they would not miss it. So many on this blog have correctly said , when faced with assorted leftists whinging about the “downsides” of freedom–” a shame but tough luck”. Well it is a shame for the babies–but the remedies you advocate would bring such evils in their train that far outweigh the minor issue of fleshcutting. Hell-take a pole (again no pun intended) most of those circumcised would probably not care or actively support the practice. Again–if you want law–insist that all Rabbis have proper medical training to do the job and jail any drunks. Insist on medical personnel being on hand and at least local anaesthetic being used.

    As for FGM–it is a bad habit not a religious prescription as such. So pay people not to do it. A little time and some cash would deal with 99.9% of cases in the UK. Stop Gulf pricks coming here to get it done privately.

    However–in terms of morality–freedom will always have a few downsides of bad–the good it brings far outweighs the bad. Reduce the harm of cutting any way we can–but ultimately let it stand if the alternative is more power for the power-seekers–which it is.

  77. As for FGM–it is a bad habit not a religious prescription as such.

    It’s an ingrained cultural practice as part of a tribal taboo system, like the male version.

    The enemies of freedom argument is pretty pointless, at this stage of the game. They will take our freedom anyway. But stopping genital mutilation in both sexes would be entirely an expression of negative rights, liberalism, libertarianism, whatever. Like I said, it’s not a greater good thing, it’s an individual rights thing.

  78. Tim Newman – bum hair is a feature, not a bug.

    If you’ve ever nipped outside on a cold January morning to get something from the car, and had the door slam shut on your bathtowel, and found that the door had locked, and then a policeman happened by… then you’d be appreciative of any covering you can get.

    It could happen to anyone.

  79. Steve,

    > So you’re not saying it’s anti-semitic, merely heavily implying it by using Nazi terminology?

    It’s a useful word: short and catchy and meaningful and evocative.

    Besides, you’ve then gone on to claim that British Jews are not in fact British:

    > It is our national custom to jail men who hurt babies. Let us live up to it. As David Cameron once said, multiculturalism has failed. We are British. British people don’t snip off the tops of their sons’ willies.

  80. Squander Two – No, I’m saying that British Jews are indeed British, ergo British values should be put into practice here. Circumcision should’ve been left behind in the old country.

  81. The Jewish people, about 0.2% of the world’s population, have won this % of Nobel Prizes:
    – 1H 20th C: 14% (slowed down a bit by the Holocaust)
    – 2H 20th C: 29%
    – 2001-2007: 32%
    The customs they use to limit their gene pool likely have something to do with this, so it’s understandable if they think that if it ain’t broke they needn’t fix it.

  82. Steve–You are centuries too late and you are saying that you can’t be Jewish–ie follow the religion and be British.

    However you–and the others saying “take it or fuck off” are also saying that large numbers–if not all- of the followers of another religion would also have to leave.

    Let me have another think–I’ll get back to you.

  83. @S2 ‘A.k.a. “it is a fundamental part of your people’s culture”. Wording something derisively doesn’t make the thing itself worth any less.’

    Like I said, trolling.

  84. Mr Ecks – I’m not saying anything like that.

    I’m saying we shouldn’t permit people to snip the foreskins off babies.

    People’s private religious beliefs and identities are their own concern. My only concern in this debate is that I believe children should be allowed to grow up with their genitals intact.

    All I’ve got to say about the religious angle is – yes indeed, it’s not always possible to accomodate the customs of religious minorities within British law and sensibilities. Thems the breaks.

  85. No Tim Newman, you didn’t use ‘the Jews’ as you would refer to other groupings and you know you didn’t..any more than uses of the word ‘repatriate’ are in any way innocent when talking about Jews.

    Read again what you wrote in response to a couple off odd jobs in Europe making a silly case: “You’d think the Jews…” all rolled into one. Want to dispute it? Well then go ahead, take each other group you’ve mentioned and construct a similar sentence.

    Can someone also explain why Jews are habitually referred to as intelligent whilst black Africans are referred to bush scrubbers?

  86. Ironman – Can someone also explain why Jews are habitually referred to as intelligent whilst black Africans are referred to bush scrubbers?

    Never heard “bush scrubbers” in my life.

  87. Of course the important point here, carefully skated around methinks, is that this will ONLY protect certain ‘in’groups.
    Don’t think so? The tenets of Christianity are anathema to muslims and at least some of the more Orthodox Jews.
    What happens when some imam says that Christianity is ‘offensive’ to islam because the idea of Jesus as Son of Godgoes against the muslim teaching of Him being a mere prophet of islam. What of the concept of the Trinity? Are we to have our faith barred from public expression because any minority has an issue with it? How about we adopt the Hungarian response and just tell them all to fuck off and grow a thicker skin. That would include the femiloons and all the rest of the bleeding hearts, handwringers and bansturbators.

  88. Rob > “Could everyone please stop talkng about cocks?”

    It’s either sex/tits/cocks or painfully-expressed psychoses. I may well use this blog for my next thesis.

  89. Mr Ecks,

    What you now advocate would be an open goal to the enemies of freedom and they would not miss it.

    I think that’s moot as “enemies of freedom” seem content to set up their own goals and move the goalposts around, etc. All we can do is promote our own principles and have faith that they will win out in the ‘marketplace of ideas’. The principle here is: don’t do non-consensual harm to people (outside self defence and medical necessity).

  90. Arnald: What’s the title?

    “200 million murders and still counting: The painfully expressed psychoses of Socialism”

    By S T C Arnauld (the Dickhead formally known as Armald)

  91. It’s either sex/tits/cocks or painfully-expressed psychoses. I may well use this blog for my next thesis.

    Never mind the title of the next one, what was the title and the publishing institution of the previous one?

  92. Never mind the title of the next one, what was the title and the publishing institution of the previous one?

    A Critical Theory Analysis Of My Clagnuts by Arnald, University of Penge (formerly Penge Polytechnic).

  93. Steve,

    > No, I’m saying that British Jews are indeed British, ergo British values should be put into practice here. Circumcision should’ve been left behind in the old country.

    Jews have been in Britain for 350 years. Their presence predates many of the concepts that you think of as Britishness. They helped build a lot of them, in fact. You are not talking about forcing an incoming alien culture to adapt to the country they are arriving in. Quite the opposite: from the point of view of both Jewishness and Britishness, the alien culture is the novel change you are proposing.

    To persistently talk of British Jews as alien immigrants is absurd and racist. How many generations need to live here before you’ll consider them native?

  94. Squander Two –

    Jews have been in Britain for 350 years. Their presence predates many of the concepts that you think of as Britishness. They helped build a lot of them, in fact. You are not talking about forcing an incoming alien culture to adapt to the country they are arriving in. Quite the opposite: from the point of view of both Jewishness and Britishness, the alien culture is the novel change you are proposing.

    All manner of things were acceptable 350 years ago.

    Beating up the wife, for example. Or slavery.

    We’ve moved on.

    To persistently talk of British Jews as alien immigrants is absurd and racist.

    Indeed it would be.

    How many generations need to live here before you’ll consider them native?

    Not sure why you keep trying to misrepresent me as some sort of Jew-basher. But if it amuses you to white knight for The Jews (pace Ironman), even though nobody’s actually attacking them, have at it…

    The Steve is not for turning. Hands off our foreskins! No frenum, no peace!

  95. Sorry Steve, you personally may not have used the terms but go back over this long and grim thread and read again how Africans have been described. Then there is that collective reference to “the Jews”.

    Read again, it’s here on this post.

  96. Steve,

    > All manner of things were acceptable 350 years ago.

    You didn’t say it should be banned because it’s old-fashioned; you said it should be banned because it’s not British and should have been “left behind in the old country”. To talk in such terms about people who’ve been in England since before the Restoration goes far beyond, say, the BNP’s usual nativeness criteria. In most cases, “the old country” is England.

    Interested,

    > Life must be so simple once you’ve taken delivery of your very own racism detector.

    Or if you decide that anyone who voices an opinion that doesn’t match your own must just be making it up.

  97. I’m being charitable in assuming you don’t really think a sky fairy wants babies mutilated, and/or that obeying said fairy is a good thing worth protecting by law.

    If you actually do think that, sure, I don’t think you’re trolling, I just think you’re laughable.

  98. bloke (not) in spain

    “Jewish leaders call for Europe-wide legislation outlawing antisemitism”

    That’s going to knock the Jewish joke on the head, isn’t it? There’s be a lot of nervous Jews going around communicating by sign language, then. They’re usually the people who told them first.

    And appropriately:

    Tourist’s strolling along one of the small streets in the Jewish quarter of the city & sees a tiny, dusty little shop has some particularly fine clocks in the window. He takes a fancy to a superb carriage clock & enters to inquire the price. The elderly man, behind the counter, informs him none of the clocks are for sale.
    “If they’re not for sale, why do you have them in the window?”
    ” I’m the mohel* ” replies the old man “What do you suggest I have in the window?”

    *Google it.

  99. Squander Two – You didn’t say it should be banned because it’s old-fashioned; you said it should be banned because it’s not British and should have been “left behind in the old country”.

    No, I said it should be banned because it’s cruel.

    It is un-British to allow people to harm babies, and circumcision is a cultural practice that should never have been reintroduced to England. And the fact that something has been permitted for 350 years is not a good reason to permit it to continue.

    But these aren’t reasons for ending the practice of medically unjustified circumcision.

    We should stop it because it’s wrong.

    To talk in such terms about people who’ve been in England since before the Restoration goes far beyond, say, the BNP’s usual nativeness criteria. In most cases, “the old country” is England.

    There you go again. 🙂

    S2 – I like you, even though you’re Irish.*

    But it’s like you have some weird rhetorical tourettes on this subject. Which I have summarised in the BASIC program below.

    10 IF COMMENTS = “CIRCUMCISION IS WRONG” THEN GOTO 20
    20 PRINT “YOU NAZI BASTARD! BNP! JUDENREIN! MEL TITTYWANKING GIBSON!”
    30 GOTO 20

    *that’s a joke by the way. I love Irish people. Except Bono, Martin McGuinness and the late Ian Paisley.

  100. bloke (not) in spain

    And I’d be inclined to go along with SQ2 on this. It’s not a big thing (unless the young lad’s been particularly lucky in life’s lottery) But it means a lot to Jews. Diffren’t strokes for diffren’t folks, eh? It’s not like Jews are particularly keen on sending their young lads away from home to boarding school, is it? They’d really would think that was barbaric.

  101. Ironman,

    “Repatriate” strikes me as a very poor sentiment; the choice of word doesn’t matter.

    The word was wrongly chosen, the sentiment was completely unintended. I admit my error – I deny what you appear to suggest.

  102. Anyway, bum-hair serves the useful purpose of helping prevent nasty chafing and other sweat-related unpleasantness.

    Post #132

  103. Reading above – and apologies if I missed bits but there is a lot there – it seems that use of “physical” vs “mental / psychological” appears to be one of the justifications for saying no: a people do not have the right to follow their culture?

    I get the sentiment and yet, in fact we do allow parents to slap, otherwise corporally punish, sometimes abandon (eg boarding school, physically and psychologically) and even murder (abort – ok, subtly different timing); and probably there are other examples people can think of?

    And no, one doesn’t have to believe themselves in sky fairies, simply accept that others might…

    For all that is so wrong: a hugely successful people, and – here’s an interesting one – very unlike FGM, despite the “cruelty” tag there is no substantive evidence whatsoever (that I am aware of?) that lots of Jewish men are now speaking out against this terrible crime committed against them as new-borns?

    But – “we” insist that they are “victims”?

    No rider running in this one, just musing…

  104. Philip Scott Thomas

    B(n)IS

    Buddy Hackett told that same joke on the Johnny Carson show ca. 1978.

    He stole it from Leo Rosten.

  105. There’s actually a substantial movement within Judaism to give up circumcision. Theodore Herzl chose not to circumcise his sons, for instance.

  106. The issues around circumcision and FGM would be clearer if we defined our terms more carefully.

    Let’s try:

    Male circumcision: cutting off some or all of the prepuce (the foreskin)
    Female circumcision: cutting off some or all of the prepuce (the clitoral hood)
    FGM: cutting off some or all of the clitoris and the labia minora. In some practices, sewing up the labia majora.

    Thus defined, neonatal circumcision is bad because there’s no consent, but something to be discouraged rather than banned. Whereas FGM is plain evil.

  107. I disagree, Paul. Non-medical amputation on infants should be illegal. Let them decide for themselves when they’re old enough.

    I agree that FGM is worse, but it’s like the difference between gang rape and having a finger shoved up you on a crowded train. Just because one is worse doesn’t mean that the lesser one should be tolerated.

  108. PaulB-

    The term FGM is used for all genital mutilation (rightly) and even includes very mild ceremonial “nicks” with no harm done at all. Much “FGM” is considerably milder than MGM, but none is considered tolerable.

    Compare that to the much more commonplace male mutilation, whose defenders lapse into “it’s no big deal, stop making a fuss” and then denouncing anyone who disagrees with it as a Nazi (e.g. Squander and Ironman above).

    This is, strangely, one of the most clear child protection issues there is. While we debate about difficult issues regarding the best way to raise a child, and what counts as neglect or abuse, nothing could be more clearly a harm which is easily defined and can be easily stopped as circumcision. And yet, we get all this dissembling in defence of it. Why?

  109. IanB

    Well then where are the victims? If they don’t say they are who the he’ll are you to declare them so? You should just stick to the old PIE material you’ve learnt so well.

  110. Ironman: Look up “foreskin restoration”. There’s a large number of men who do resent being circumcised as infants and want to get some of what they lost back.

  111. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “This is, strangely, one of the most clear child protection issues there is. …. And yet, we get all this dissembling in defence of it. Why?”

    I am not sure it would be stopped easily. We cannot stop FGM and many people have tried to get the Jews to stop. They have all failed. But that aside.

    Circumcision is a tradition. Customs and rituals handed down from our ancestors are a positive good. We ought to treasure them in the absence of compelling harm.

    In the same way, the State needs to keep its nose out of other people’s business. It is not enough that there is a harm here, but that there is a compelling harm – a harm serious enough to force the government into action. I am sure that smoking near babies is bad for them (and probably worse for them than circumcision), but having the government force people to stop is worse.

    Is there a compelling harm here? We can probably agree that in theory circumcision is assault. It is hard to find any evidence that circumcision harms anyone. It may even protect against HIV and some forms of cancer. Sexual function is not harmed. However it is hard to know because the evidence is so weak either way.

    So the choice seems to be 1. to tolerate people following the faith of their fathers in a way that has no obvious or serious impact on boys at all or 2. to allow social workers and other sneaks into everyone’s home to forcibly inspect children’s willies in an effort to see if they have been snipped.

    I would think that the latter is much worse. Even the basic principle that the State has the right to make and enforce these decisions, is worse than the problem.

    And I say this as someone who would not mind if we had the entire Jewish and Muslim communities queuing at Heathrow to deport themselves.

    (But can I say how much I appreciate a thread that makes me look like a voice of reason? Doesn’t happen often)

  112. @PaulB

    ‘Let’s try:’

    Anyone ever told you you’re a smug cunt?

    Still, I love the idea that *you* get to decide how much penis is too much penis to be removed in the name of an imaginary sky fairy and his Very Old Book.

  113. Ironman, I’d be quite offended by that if it hadn’t come from somebody who is so obviously as thick as pigshit. And in favour of baby mutilation to boot.

    SMFS-

    The compelling harm is obvious. The babies have been mutilated for no reason other than tradition. It is hard to think of a more obvious harm.

    As to traditions, they can be good or bad. They are not always a positive good. Often they are merely a continuation of some practise whose origin is lost in the mist of time and, whether it once had any benefit or not, is now demonstrably a bad thing.

    Sexual function is not harmed.

    It is, since most of the nerve endings have been removed. The penis still functions in a reproductive sense- usually- but has been deliberately desensitised. The clitoris is not necessary for reproductive function either, but we consider the woman harmed because her capacity for sexual pleasure has been reduced.

    And because, you know, a healthy organ has been removed for no reason whatsoever.

  114. SMFS,

    > But can I say how much I appreciate a thread that makes me look like a voice of reason? Doesn’t happen often

    Well, quite. Your comment was spot on, by the way.

    Ian,

    > The term FGM is used for all genital mutilation (rightly) and even includes very mild ceremonial “nicks” with no harm done at all.

    Anyone who’s using the word “mutilation” to describe “no harm done at all” is misusing words egregiously. I’m sure some activists are doing this, but then some activists insist that women who hear harsh words from their husbands are victims of domestic abuse. I see no reason to join in with such bollocks.

    > denouncing anyone who disagrees with it as a Nazi (e.g. Squander and Ironman above).

    I have done no such thing. What I have said is that, if you want to introduce legislation that would definitely lead to the exodus of Jews from Britain, you should have the intellectual honesty to admit it. Instead, you keep saying “Oh, but they could easily change major tenets of their millenias-old culture that has seen them through worse trials than that have wiped out other races in order to suit an idea that has arisen in my culture in the last couple of decades,” as if that absolves you of blame.

    > nothing could be more clearly a harm

    Well, I’d’ve thought any activity whose “victims” actually think they’re victims might be more clearly a harm.

    Anyway, your argument is circular, because you’re assuming the primacy of matter. I’m an atheist, so I assume the primacy of matter over the metaphysical as well — in my own life. But you want to impose that assumption on to the religious, who disagree profoundly. Mainstream Christianity, for instance, regards baptism as an indelible mark for eternity, whereas you would presumably think it’s only water so lasts until it dries out. If you assume that the physical trumps the metaphysical, circumcision is a permanant change and baptism isn’t. But, since a lot of the people in this democracy are religious, why should our laws be based always on your assumptions and never on theirs? Especially when their presence here predates the democracy.

    Paul,

    > neonatal circumcision is bad because there’s no consent, but something to be discouraged rather than banned. Whereas FGM is plain evil.

    Sounds reasonable.

    Matthew L,

    > There’s a large number of men who do resent being circumcised as infants and want to get some of what they lost back.

    As a proportion of the world’s Jewish population, there is in fact a minuscule number.

    > There’s actually a substantial movement within Judaism to give up circumcision. Theodore Herzl chose not to circumcise his sons, for instance.

    Well, you’re exaggerating by using the word “substantial”, since there is currently no branch of Reform Judaism that doesn’t insist on circumcision, but yes, there is some debate about it within Judaism. That’s the key thing: within Judaism. Some Jews may well stop circumcision on their own accord. Religions change. There is a world of difference between that and the banning of a key aspect of a religion by a bunch of militant atheists who think religion is stupid.

    And the bit a lot of people here are in denial about, that is, I can assure you, simply true: ban circumcision, and the Jews leave. Even the Jews who don’t practice circumcision. Because Jews, as a general rule, are not fucking stupid, and can see the writing on the wall even if the people doing the writing can’t. You’d have to be suicidally insane to think “Oh, they’ve criminalised an aspect of my religion and ethnic identity. It will certainly end there. There will definitely be no further moves against us. Definitely.”

    Interested,

    > I’m being charitable in assuming you don’t really think a sky fairy wants babies mutilated, and/or that obeying said fairy is a good thing worth protecting by law.

    I’ve repeatedly stated that I’m an atheist. If you can’t read, perhaps don’t comment?

    Steve,

    > There you go again.

    And yet what I said is… oh, what’s that word again? — true. I remember the BNP had some debate a few years ago about how many generations to trace back someone’s origins to decide whether they’re British or not; I think the argument was between six and seven; might have been eight. So, as far as the most ethnicity-obsessed political group in the UK are concerned, people whose family have been here since Cromwell are natives, by a mile. You’re saying, repeatedly, that they’re not British, and you’re referring to “the old country”, which can only mean that they’re immigrants. I’m not slurring you here. If you think simply repeating your own words back at you comes across as a slur, you might want to rethink the words. Don’t blame the messenger.

    And I’m not Irish.

  115. What I have said is that, if you want to introduce legislation that would definitely lead to the exodus of Jews from Britain, you should have the intellectual honesty to admit it.

    Anybody who would walk out in a huff over such a thing, I will not miss. I do not, though, believe that there would be an “exodus”. We might lose the ultra-orthodox black-hatters, but the majority of Jews would, I think, obey the law, even if they did not like it. But it would be up to them.

    As I’ve said, any law is the same. If people find it intolerable, they may leave to evade it. But if the law is just- as in this case it would be- then that is their problem, not anybody else’s. And, in everyday human society, the correct answer to anyone who threatens to leave unless they get their way is, “don’t let the door slam on your way out”.

  116. Also,

    You’d have to be suicidally insane to think “Oh, they’ve criminalised an aspect of my religion and ethnic identity. It will certainly end there. There will definitely be no further moves against us. Definitely.”

    You’d have to be insane to think that ending the mutilation of infants is part of a campaign to, what are you implying here, build another Auschwitz? What road, precisely, is campaigning against FGM on? Putting Muslims in gas chambers? Should we not stop FGM either, for fear of an imaginary holocaust?

    Your arguments are hysterical and nonsensical. And pretty standard New Left nonsense of turning any debate into a class war, as well.

  117. S2 – You’re saying, repeatedly, that they’re not British

    Nope. I’ve said, repeatedly, the opposite.

    We don’t agree on circumcision – fine. But stop trying to smear me as some sort of BNP’ist. It’s tedious.

    and you’re referring to “the old country”, which can only mean that they’re immigrants.

    Jumping Jehosephat. You brought up the fact that Jews migrated to England about 350 years ago. I’m a baddie for making the logical observation that they arrived here from somewhere else? Jog on.

    I’m not slurring you here.

    You are.

    If you think simply repeating your own words back at you comes across as a slur, you might want to rethink the words.

    Deliberately claiming someone said the opposite of what they actually did say, and doing so for the purposes of making them out to be some kind of Hitler, is what most reasonable people think of as a slur.

    And I’m not Irish.

    Whatever, you leprechaun-fondling bastard.

  118. > You brought up the fact that Jews migrated to England about 350 years ago. I’m a baddie for making the logical observation that they arrived here from somewhere else?

    You have these the wrong way around: I mentioned that in response to your “old country” nonsense. And you didn’t merely refer to their having come from somewhere else; “the old country” is simply not a phrase used by distant descendants. People whose great-grandparents were French don’t talk about France as “the old country”. The Queen doesn’t call Germany “the old country”, and, jokes aside, we’d think it odd if she did. The phrase is used by first- and maybe second-generation immigrants. One can argue about third, but not about fifteenth.

    Jews who were living in England under Cromwell might well have referred to “the old country”, being where they had recently come from. Their kids might have, too. That is not what you were doing: you were talking about Jews living in Britain today. You were also referring to the geographical origin of their religious practice, which would certainly not be whichever country they migrated to Britain from. To the extent that Jews would refer to “the old country”, it’d be France or Germany or the Netherlands or Russia or some other country that their religious practices do not come from. When you talk about leaving their religious practices back in the old country — “Circumcision should’ve been left behind in the old country” — either you’re referring to Judea or you’re a fuckwit. Or, of course, both.

    > Nope. I’ve said, repeatedly, the opposite.

    But only on the condition that you get to define “Britishness” in a way that excludes Jews. “Jews are British, which is why they should stop doing Jewish things which I say are Unbritish. As long as they stop behaving like Jews, they’re British.” The inevitable implication of that is that Jews who keep behaving Jewishly aren’t British — which is in fact exactly what you said.

    Ian,

    > You’d have to be insane to think that ending the mutilation of infants is part of a campaign to, what are you implying here, build another Auschwitz?

    Not what I said at all. I suggested that people with a long and bitter history of being utterly screwed no longer make the mistake of hanging around to find out how far the latest campaign against them is going to go. You insist that, if you ban circumcision, the Jews will spontaneously change their religion to suit you and will stay in the country. On the contrary: even those Jews who oppose circumcision will leave.

    I also think that your idea that you can run a political campaign to ban a vital aspect of Judaism without anyone at all deciding to run with it and just take against Jews in general is hopelessly naive and profoundly ignorant of both human nature and history.

    Thankfully, this is all hypothetical, as even our political class aren’t stupid enough to adopt your suggestion.

    I don’t think either of you are antisemitic. I think the problem with antisemitism is it infects people who aren’t antisemitic.

  119. No Tim Newman, you didn’t use ‘the Jews’ as you would refer to other groupings and you know you didn’t..any more than uses of the word ‘repatriate’ are in any way innocent when talking about Jews.

    Let’s not start speculating overt he internet on what I knew and what I didn’t know. That’s just silly.

    And yes, I used “the Jews” the same as I would use “the French” or “the Scottish” or “the Russians” or “the Arabs”.

    And I never used the word repatriate.

  120. S2 – You have these the wrong way around

    Yes. I ballsed up my chronology there.

    either you’re referring to Judea or you’re a fuckwit. Or, of course, both.

    Lots of people would agree with either or both. I’m going for Judea though.

    But only on the condition that you get to define “Britishness” in a way that excludes Jews. “Jews are British, which is why they should stop doing Jewish things which I say are Unbritish. As long as they stop behaving like Jews, they’re British.” The inevitable implication of that is that Jews who keep behaving Jewishly aren’t British — which is in fact exactly what you said.

    Nah.

    My take on this is simple (and apologies to anyone reading this for repeating myself):

    Circumcision hurts babies.

    Hurting babies is wrong.

    British values are against hurting babies, so we should live up to that.

    British Jews are British, so can be reasonably expected to cease and desist from hurting babies if we, British society as a whole, decide to put an end to the shameful practice of infant genital mutilation.

    I honestly don’t give a monkeys whether this offends anybody’s religious tenets. People can believe whatever they want. I’m not telling anybody how to interpret their faith – I’m not even interested. All I’m telling them is – stop hurting kids.

    My tenet says you shouldn’t take a crying, helpless tiny human and chop off part of his dick. If that causes anybody a problem, boo hoo.

    Agree or disagree with that all you want. I may or may not be wrong, or a fuckwit. Trying to twist it into some sort of Der Sturmer tract is just bollocks though. And worse than bollocks, it’s now boring.

  121. “You’d think the Jews…” all rolled into one. Want to dispute it? Well then go ahead, take each other group you’ve mentioned and construct a similar sentence.

    1.You’d think the Welsh would learn not to raise expectations of 6 Nations success by now.
    2. You’d think the British might be unwise to criticise French cooking.
    3. You’d think French would refrain from drawing attention to a country’s conduct in WWII.
    4. You’d think the Chinese might show enough awareness not to endorse collectivist agriculture in Venezuela.
    5. You’d think the Catholics might refrain from commenting on institutionalised child abuse within the Church of England.
    6. You’d think the Sikhs would be the last people to object to exemptions from the law on religious grounds.
    7. You’d think the Nazis would have secured the Balkans, but not even they managed it.
    8. You’d think the Communists might know a thing or two about running prison camps.
    9. You’d think the banjo players would prefer playing bluegrass to folk.

    Should I don my KKK hood now or later?

  122. Squander,

    Lots of people mutilate. Jews, Muslims, Americans. Jews have decided for themselves that it is the defining characteristic of ingroup membership, and that is a matter for them. They are welcome to continue mutilating themselves as adults. What they aren’t entitled to do is do it to infants, because rights trump religion and culture.

    There is no existential threat to Jews in this country, beyond street violence from Muslims, and they know it. If they were really to up sticks and leave- you make this claim ex nihilo and expect us all to take it as certain- then it would be extremely foolish and overreactive, but it would be their decision. This is simply a tribal ritual of mutilation. It has to go one day, and then people will look back on it with the horror it deserves.

    And I will repeat, that many Jews campaign against the female form. They do not concern themselves with the similar cultural beliefs of the perpetrators of that. Many Jews and Jewish organisations have campaigned on all manner of social change issues, often bringing in prohibitions of behaviour. Jewish writers and philosophers have been intense critics of gentile society. Well, that cuts both ways.

    Like genital mutilation, in fact.

  123. A sign of the times Tim N,

    1. “English” might be more appropriate
    2. Might be the wrong way around. Unbelievably.

  124. S2,
    I don’t think Britain’s Jews would leave; it’s more likely that they’ll find a solution before they have to.

    For example, their scholars might argue that, after all, His writ doesn’t run in places that He hasn’t heard of (eg Britain*), and that accommodations can be made if required.

    * Yes, I know He claimed to have created the whole world, but the OT only makes sense if God is viewed as a purely local deity. The creation stories can be viewed as Godly boasting / passive-aggressive attention-seeking, which would also fit with his known personality.

  125. Anyone ever told you you’re [obscenity]?
    If they did it would be because they couldn’t cope with rational argument, politely expressed.

    Still, I love the idea that *you* get to decide how much penis is too much penis to be removed in the name of an imaginary sky fairy and his Very Old Book.

    Flattering as that may be, my preference would be to decide it democratically. However, my personal view is that whereas evil should be illegal, we should consider carefully before we ban things we think undesirable whether the effects of a ban would be beneficial in practice.

    What’s a matter of fact rather than opinion is that FGM and circumcision are different things anatomically, medically, culturally, and legally. Anyone who argues otherwise is a fool or a knave.

  126. I’m not sure there would be any need for anyone to leave?

    I would guess that it would be extraordinarily unlikely for any such law ever to be passed in the UK, whatever the theoretical ramblings above.

    But if it was:

    On the 8th day, thou shalt take a day trip to Calais

  127. Interesting – I just read thread header again, and which was absolutely spot on. And had sod all to do with most of what then followed!

  128. So Much for Subtlety

    Ian B – “The compelling harm is obvious. The babies have been mutilated for no reason other than tradition. It is hard to think of a more obvious harm.”

    You are confusing what I mean by compelling. We can agree the harm is obvious and if a new group came along and started doing it now, we would probably ban them.

    The question is whether it rises to the level that would justify State intervention. Again, smoking at home is probably a worse assault on a child’s health – in that it is incredibly rare that any child is harmed. But I would object to the State doing anything about it because the dangers of having the State snooping in everyone’s house is worse than the harm from smoking. So too with circumcision.

    “As to traditions, they can be good or bad. They are not always a positive good. Often they are merely a continuation of some practise whose origin is lost in the mist of time and, whether it once had any benefit or not, is now demonstrably a bad thing.”

    Traditions are ipso facto good in themselves. And if they have survived they are even more likely to be good. Chesterton’s gate etc etc. Whether or not circumcision is a bad thing, doing what would be needed to be done to ban it would be worse. That should not be an article of dispute to liberals in the TW sense.

    “It is, since most of the nerve endings have been removed. The penis still functions in a reproductive sense- usually- but has been deliberately desensitised.”

    Most? Come on. We are talking about the foreskin. There are few nerve endings there. Sexual function depends on the knob at the end. The penis still functions precisely because most of the nerve endings are intact.

    The claim is usually that without the foreskin for protection sensation is lost due to routine rubbing. But again how would we know? Few people have experience both with and without.

    “The clitoris is not necessary for reproductive function either, but we consider the woman harmed because her capacity for sexual pleasure has been reduced.”

    Actually most people object because the capacity for sexual pleasure has been removed. The male equivalent would be a removal of the entire penis.

    “And because, you know, a healthy organ has been removed for no reason whatsoever.”

    What organ? You mean a bit of skin from an organ. But it has been removed. On the other hand, at least Bea Campbell has not been empowered to enter your home and inspect your children’s genitalia.

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