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A group of several hundred people, mainly Jews but also including Muslims and Christians, has demonstrated in Berlin for the right to circumcise.

The rally was supported by more than 50 organisations and institutions. It comes at a time of heated debate in Germany following a June court ruling in Cologne that the practice was “unlawful bodily harm”.

Although it only applies in a small area, German doctors scrambled to halt operations nationwide.

“The federal German government must introduce a law which will result in circumcisions remaining exempt from punishment,” said the head of Germany’s Turkish community Kenan Kolat.

The Social Democrat vice president was present to promise he would help find a legal solution.

“We’re getting sick and tired of all the heated and incompetent gibberish on circumcisions. We’ve had it up to here. So today, we want to clarify a few things through our rabbi and maybe Kenan Kolat what circumcision really is and what circumcision means to our religion,” said the former head of Berlin’s Jewish community Lala Süsskind.

The issue is a complex one for historical, cultural and religious reasons, but also as it touches on child welfare and health issues.

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