Monday, February 21, 2011

Am I a Jew? Do I Want to Be?

By KAREN ISSKENDEROV

The issue of circumcision, which I'll call genital mutilation or just GM, illustrates the problems of mankind. When custom and tradition become embedded in religion (or vice versa), a human rights violation can become overlooked, even accepted into society.

I find it amazing we have accepted the wrongs of slavery, sexism and incest so prevalent in religious writings, yet GM continues. Why? It is as if males need to justify their mutilation by continuing to mutilate their own sons. Modern countries have even outlawed female GM while not only allowing, but promoting male GM. I see no difference. Just because male GM is less destructive than female GM (or is it?) doesn't make it acceptable, it is still a mutilation. If God told Abraham to cut off his thumb, would that still be accepted today? No, it would be ridiculous. Maybe because a penis is hidden from view by clothing this has continued.

GM is an obvious human rights violation. Performing unnecessary, painful and mutilating surgery on a child unable to consent is unforgivable. Imagine the build up of negativity in a person that performs the act. All done with a smile and a “mazel tov!”

Unfortunately, Jews and Muslims continue to quote the scriptures to justify continuing this practice. What is the excuse of the rest of society? They certainly are not trying to be Jews or Muslims. In American society, people, especially of my generation, don't know what a normal, intact penis should look like.

Only in the last 200 plus years have we done away with most slavery. Hopefully, GM is next. We need to stop turning to scripture for answers to all our questions. It is open to interpretation, and there is a definite wrong going on here. I hope mankind has learned something in the last 2000 years. Religious writing should at least be updated to our times, things have definitely changed. Such as dietary laws. Maybe they made sense back then, but today there isn't much basis to it.

Organizations like NOCIRC do a great job teaching the benefits of an intact male, but it is a very sensitive subject and they approach it very intellectually and carefully. Dr. Dean Edell has done a great job teaching the subject. But unless you raise hell with the religious aspect of this, we will never get to the top and end this suffering forever. So stop reciting the story of Abraham, I don't buy it. Whether you are a Jew does not, and should not, be dependent on the status of your penis. And if it does, then I am not a Jew. Human rights are for everyone. All persons are created equal. If MGM is to continue then FGM must be allowed. And we know that is wrong. So end it all!

Karen Isskenderov is a practicing pharmacist, living in St. Petersberg, Florida. She has a daughter and two sons. Karen's mother, age 94, still recalls the horror of her two brothers circumcisions, and says if she knew there was a choice she would have never allowed it. She is very happy her grandsons are intact and that Karen will not have to live with the memories she harbors.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent Article Karen!!! Thanks for all your Knowledge and support!! XOXOX Rob

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  2. Here are some facts to prohibit baby mutilations.

    University of Washington study tested for HPV infection at the head of the penis (or glans), on the shaft/scrotum skin, and in urine samples. Researchers found that the shaft/scrotum skin were the most likely sites of HPV infection in circumcised males, with a higher percentage of infections at these sites in circumcised males as compared to intact males.

    Since shaft and scrotum skin together comprise the vast majority of the surface area of the penis in circumcised males, and are the most likely sites for HPV infection in circumcised males, any research done on circumcision status and HPV infection must necessarily include these sites.

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