I definitely agree with MJ’s points about the possibility of imputing antisemitism onto this site. Without agreeing or disagreeing with anything else said above, I just want to express my shock and disappointment to see this much Islamophobia on Mondoweiss. I think it’s totally legit if Matthew wants to question the place of the circumcision ritual in modern Judaism and I hope he has space to do that somewhere. Maybe there is a space devoted to progressive Judaism that would be appropriate. If there are Muslims who want to question their ritual, I hope they get to as well in a forum for themselves.
But this comment thread has become a receptacle for myths about Muslims and women, the Muslim world, and what is and isn’t permissible in Islam. This is the one Jewish site I felt comfortable would commit to an anti-Islamophobia discourse. I felt like people here at least understood the gravity of the situation American Muslims are faced with. The stuff written above is troubling, as it’s clear even progressive Jews have a long way to go in educating themselves beyond media stereotypes.
Also, as a Jew, I was pretty offended by the image attached to this article when it appeared this morning. I also think comparisons to sexual abuse are completely unwarranted. Say what you want about the child having the right to decide what to do with his body for himself, but this is not about some perverted sexual gratification. The people involved are complying with their religious and spiritual beliefs. Whether or not you think the ritual is barbaric, it is not fellatio, and the suggestion is despicable. I mean, doesn’t it occur to you that this invokes blood libel and the antisemitic theory that rabbis are permitted to molest children? To me, this is deeply problematic…I also saw that anti-circumcision cartoon last year, which to me nutshells MJ’s points. There is a lot of hostility towards minority religions in that movement…I find it offensive. That’s my two cents.