Are Freedom of Religion and Human Rights in Conflict?

April 2, 2014

Englishaudio-input-microphone20140327 ECRL Brussels - group photoRecently, I was invited to address an assembly of political and interfaith leaders at a meeting organized by the European Council of Religious Leaders, at the German federal state of Hessen’s representation in Brussels, under the banner of “Welcoming the Other: Equal Citizenship in Europe – the contribution of religion.” It was an opportunity to explore the mounting pressures attempting to limit freedom of religion and tolerance for others in Europe. The title of my lecture was provocatively entitled: “Religious practices and expressions: contradicting human rights?” and below are an audio recording of my talk, as well as my edited and slightly expanded remarks, responding to the question “are there obstacles that prevent people from fully using their rights as EU citizens to live and work anywhere in the EU?”
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Meeting Council of Europe Sec. Gen. Jagland Re: Circumcision

January 29, 2014

EnglishEU_Council_FlagForthcoming March 27th I will be one of the speakers at a joint event between the European Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace and the Council of Europe’s Brussel’s office. It will be an opportunity to explore the mounting pressures attempting to limit freedom of religion and tolerance for others in Europe. The title of my lecture is provocatively entitled: “Religious practices and expressions: contradicting human rights?”

This will be another step in our interfaith effort to mitigate and counter the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s resolution Resolution 1952 (2013), which encouraged legally constraining religious circumcision. Some previous steps undertaken in this matter were described in a previous blog post.On January 20th 2014, I took part in a Jewish-Muslim interfaith mission by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, meeting with Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, where he reitterated his strong support for religious freedom and cultural tolerance. This came a week ahead of a renewed discussion concerning ritual male infant circumcision at the Council of Europe.

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Unfortunately, a the discussion regarding ritual circumcision a mere week after our interfaith meeting with Secretary General Jagland, we could see first hand how some activists won’t stop at anything and will try to claim a moral high ground upon which they can build their castles of intolerance, cloaking their intransigence in arguments supposedly about the rights of the child, while totally ignoring the same children’s rights to be part of a community, for instance a religious community, and to receive their parents’ culture and deeply held values. There remains much work to be done.

Most upsetting was that all Germans who were present and spoke at the January 28th discussion all opposed ritual circumcision. It seems like after losing in the German Bundestag when the latter body passed a law protecting ritual circumcision, they ran to the Council of Europe to sell their intolerant wares. Read the rest of this entry »


Warum beschneiden Juden ihre Knaben (Multimedia-Vortrag)

October 18, 2012

Deutschaudio-input-microphonevideoWarum beschneiden Juden ihre Knaben, welche spirituelle Hintergründe hat die Beschneidung? Vortrag von Dr. Samuel Adler, ein bedeutender europäische Mohel (religiöse Beschneider).
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Beschneidung, die aktuelle Rechtslage – Multimedia Schiur

October 18, 2012

Deutschaudio-input-microphonevideoVortrag von dem Verfassungsrechtswissenschaftler Prof. Dr. Gerhard Robbers.
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Beschneidungslerntag – Schlußworte (Multimedia)

September 23, 2012

Deutschaudio-input-microphonevideoFazit — wie ist die Drohung auf der Beschneidung in Deutschland einzustufen? Meine Schlußworte anlässlich des Lerntages Read the rest of this entry »


Paneldiskussion zur Beschneidung (Audio)

September 23, 2012

Deutschaudio-input-microphonePaneldiskussion zur Beschneidung, mit Dr. Samuel Adler, Mohel; Rabbiner Arie Folger, Gemeinderabbiner; Dr. Nathan Kaminski, Urolog; Prof. Dr. Gerhard Robbers, Verfassungsrechtswissenschaftler. Read the rest of this entry »


Welche Bünde gibt es zwischen Mensch und G”tt? (Multimedia)

September 23, 2012

Deutschaudio-input-microphonevideoDie Beschneidung ist das Zeichen des Bundes zwischen dem Juden und G”tt. Was für andere Bünde gibt es in der Torá, und was vermittelen andere Bünde zur Verständnis der Beschneidung? Vortrag von Rabbiner Jechiel Brukner Read the rest of this entry »