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Berlin cancels circumcision ban

Circumcisions performed for religious reasons by a doctor are okay, Berlin senate says.

Circumcision germany 26 06 2012Enlarge
A regional court in Germany has ruled that the religious circumcision of boys is an assault on their physical integrity. (Muhannad Fala'ah/Getty Images)

Berlin's senate has said that doctors can legally circumcise infant boys for religious reasons, although nonmedical circumcisions will still be considered a criminal offense, the Times of Israel reported.

A district court ruled in June that the circumcision of minors for religious reasons should be considered a physical assault.

According to the Financial Times Deutschland, judges said that the procedure should only be performed when medically necessary, not as a ritual, after a 4-year-old Muslim boy in Cologne was hospitalized for bleeding two days after his circumcision.

The decision enraged the Muslim and Jewish communities in Germany. 

The Central Council of Jews in Germany called the ruling an "unprecedented and dramatic interference in religious communities' self-determination," according to Der Spiegel.

About 120,000 Jews are registered as living in Germany, along with around 4 million Muslims, many of whom are from Turkey, Reuters reported.