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May 20, 2016 9:46 am

US House Passes Religious Freedom Bill Protecting Circumcision, Ritual Slaughter

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U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) authored the bill that expanded the protection offered by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Photo: US Congress.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) authored the bill that expanded the protection offered by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. Photo: US Congress.

JNS.org – The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill expanding the protection offered by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to include male circumcision and ritual animal slaughter.

“The world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis of international religious freedom, a crisis that continues to create millions of victims; a crisis that undermines liberty, prosperity and peace; a crisis that poses a direct challenge to the U.S. interests in the Middle East, Russia, China, sub-Saharan Africa, and elsewhere,” U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), author of the bill, said in a statement.

Smith’s statement was titled “Combating Persecution of Christians and Anti-Semitism,” conveying that the purpose of his bill is to protect Christians and Jews. The bill will also protect Muslims who perform circumcision and ritual slaughter in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Myanmar.

The fundamental Jewish rites of brit milah (circumcision) and shechita (ritual slaughter) have been increasingly challenged by political leaders and activists in Europe.

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  • Karen goldis

    We already have freedom of religion in the US. What we don’t need are laws protecting human and animal rights violations. With this law female circumcision will no longer be illegal and other religious injustices will not only be tolerated but protected. Should we bring back slavery, polygamy and stoning? And protect it as well? Our government should be protecting it’s citizens NOT protecting religion. With this bill human rights will not trump religious RITES.

  • Stormwatch

    It is clear to any rational person that circumcision is a violation of the child’s body integrity – the most essential human right, without which all others lack foundation. This is a monstrous abuse that cannot be tolerated by civilized people.

  • Moe Love

    A religious “right” to mutilate infant genitals? Only for boys though right(never mind that whole equality thing, and the fact that Female Genital Mutilation has been a federal crime since 1997). Is this some kind of sick joke?

  • JeffTech

    Great, more protections for the delusional nut jobs on this planet. Maybe after the government is finishing protecting people who are beating, jailing and killing lgbt people, they can get around protecting the lgbt citizens. Love always hearing how insane our money is spent.

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