BERLIN -- German Turkish and Islamic organizations joined Jewish voices Wednesday to condemn a German court ruling that the religious circumcision of boys amounts to bodily injury, punishable by law.
Cologne's district court said in a judgment published Tuesday that religious circumcision should be considered "illegal bodily harm."
The judgment, based on a child's right to self-determination, is not binding for other courts but could set a precedent.
Circumcision is an initiation rite for Jewish baby boys, performed eight days after birth.
It is also common in Islam, normally carried out before puberty, although it is not mentioned in the Koran.
The Cologne case involved a doctor charged with causing bodily harm for circumcising a 4-year-old Muslim boy.
He was cleared by the court, which ruled that he did not know his actions might be punishable.
The Central Council of Muslims called the decision "a blatant and inadmissible encroachment into the right of self-determination of religious communities and the right of parents."
Ali Demir, the head of the Religious Community of Islam in Baden-Wuerttemberg state, warned against criminalizing parents and doctors.