Dutch doctors say no to circumcision

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The Royal Dutch Medical Association last week called on politicians and human rights groups to discourage male circumcision.

The association, which represents surgeons, pediatricians, general practitioners and urologists, appealed to politicians to speak out about the procedure, called a brit milah in Hebrew, in an attempt to encourage religious groups to find an alternative rite of passage, Reuters reported.

Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs, president of the Dutch Association of Rabbis, told Reuters that about 50 male Jewish babies are circumcised in the Netherlands each year. Muslims boys are also circumcised, at some time during boyhood. There are about 40,000 Jews and 1 million Muslims living in the Netherlands.

One year ago, the association released a report opposing male circumcision for non-medical reasons. Female circumcision, or female genital mutation, has been banned in the Netherlands since 1993. — jta