Rael commends German court ruling that circumcision constitutes 'bodily harm'

Jul 02, 2012, 10:00 ET from Raelian Movement

LAS VEGAS, July 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rael, spiritual leader of the Raelian Movement, today commended a German court's recent ruling that the circumcision of young boys for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm.

"Circumcision for men, like clitoral excision in females, constitutes sexual mutilation and should be forbidden," Rael said. It is a position he has taken for years. He also favors a Norwegian political party that is currently seeking a ban on circumcision in Norway.

"Thousands of Germans have declared that a ruling of this kind was long overdue, and Raelians are happy to hear that," said Brigitte Boisselier, Ph.D., spokesperson for the Raelian Movement. "We Raelians are the first to fight for religious freedom, but above all else, we fight for respecting human rights. Any genital mutilation of a human being without his or her consent clearly violates the Declaration of Human Rights and should be considered a criminal act, despite the attempts to justify it as a religious tradition."

Boisselier said Jewish leaders have called the ruling anti-Semitic, while Muslims leaders have pronounced it Islamophobic.

"But for the court, this ruling upholds a child's right to physical integrity," she said.

This isn't the first time Raelians have taken a strong stance against genital alterations made in the name of religious or cultural traditions.

In 2006, Rael launched Clitoraid (www.clitoraid.org), an organization that helps women who have been genitally mutilated regain their physical integrity and sense of dignity as well as their ability to experience sexual pleasure.

"Thanks to a procedure developed by Dr. Pierre Foldes, a French surgeon, it's now possible to repair what's left of the mutilated clitoris," Boisselier explained. "We're setting up a hospital in Africa and several clinics in North America where the millions of women who have been mutilated can find relief by having that surgery performed."

But what's also interesting, she said, is that Clitoraid has been receiving hundreds of e-mails from men who have been circumcised.

"They're seeking a way to have that mutilation undone," Boisselier explained. She added that, according to the World Health Organization, 30 percent of males worldwide are circumcised.

"This means that billions of human beings on Earth have been genitally mutilated without their consent," Boisselier declared. "We note that all the women who seek help from Clitoraid show clear signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. And I'm convinced that the billions of men who have been exposed to the traumatic mutilation of circumcision at an early age have developed also some degree of PTSD. It's urgent to have more than just one court saying 'Stop!' to this barbaric practice. All courts worldwide must place the right of a child above the right of a religion."

She said Rael has repeatedly asked that all religious scriptures, teachings and practices be reviewed by an independent international committee, which would see to it that all religious group practices not in agreement with the Declaration of Human Rights be banned worldwide.

"All Raelian books and practices are open for review at any time by such a committee," Boisselier said.

SOURCE Raelian Movement