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July 18, 2019 11:38 am

BBC Special on Circumcision Draws Mixed Reaction From UK Jewish Group

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A circumcision ceremony. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A British advocacy group for protecting the practice of circumcision expressed guarded criticism of a BBC special on the Jewish and Muslim ritual to be broadcast on Thursday night.

Milah UK, which says its purpose is to “promote and protect the right of the Jewish community to carry out religious circumcisions in accordance with our religious beliefs” was consulted before the documentary “A Cut Too Far?” was produced, and said that it “appreciates” that the producers “engaged with us.”

However, it noted “a newly-introduced and unhelpful title and plainly disagree with many of those featured on the program.”

“However, we further appreciate the interviews with Jewish families for whom Brit Milah is clearly an important rite of passage,” the group added. “The program reflects this and shows how the community engages in celebrating the event.”

“Since medical issues are raised in the program, it is worth restating that thousands of Jewish men who have undergone circumcision report no harm,” said Milah UK. “They adhere to the concept that Brit Milah is a gift from their parents, and can perceive it as their first recognition of their right to their religious inheritance.”

According to the BBC, “A Cut Too Far?” is hosted by Muslim journalist Adnan Sarwar, who was circumcised as an infant according to Islamic tradition. Curious about the practice, he consults a Muslim doctor who tells him the procedure is in fact unregulated and may contradict UK law against surgical procedures without consent.

The program also explores the religious attitude toward circumcision, including interviews with an Islamic scholar and a rabbi who speak about the ritual’s importance to both religions.

In addition, it includes content from anti-circumcision advocates and an interview with a urologist who is skeptical of the procedure.

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