Forced circumcision refers to circumcision of males who have not given their consent to the procedure. In a biblical context, the term is used especially in relation to Paul the Apostle and his polemics against the circumcision controversy in early Christianity.
This form of circumcision involves the circumcision of a male newborn. Although their parents may consent to it, the males themselves do not, therefore making it forced. Among adults, forced circumcisions have occurred in a wide range of situations, most notably in the compulsory conversion of non-Muslims to Islam  and the forced circumcision of Teso , Turkana and Luo men in Kenya , as well as the abduction of South African teenage boys to so-called circumcision schools "bush schools".
As reported by Josephus , circumcision was required of the Idumeans as a token of their acceptance of Judaism:. Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, and the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time therefore this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.
Scholars disagree on the interpretation of the sources. For example, Steven Weitzman believes the Idumeans were forcibly circumcised for political, not religious, reasons. Cohen , " Ptolemy 's claim, that the Idumaeans were compelled to be circumcised and to adopt Jewish ways, is a simplified account of what these urban Idumaeans experienced. In this case, too, sources indicate that the residents were subjected to forced circumcision. Greeks and Romans regarded circumcision as a mutilation of the male genitalia , but the practice is little discussed in Roman literary sources until the second century of the Christian era.
Josephus, declaring that "every one should worship God in accordance with the dictates of his own conscience," claims to have saved the two Gentiles from forced circumcision. According to Suetonius , Domitian c. Titus Flavius Clemens consul was put to death in 95 for adopting Jewish customs. In 96 Nerva relaxed the Jewish tax as applying only to those who professed to be Jews. Sometime between and AD, the emperor Hadrian seems to have temporarily banned circumcision, on pain of death.
Although Greco-Roman writers view circumcision as an identifying characteristic of Jews, they believed the practice to have originated in Egypt,  and recorded it among peoples they identified as Arab , Syrian , Phoenician , Colchian , and Ethiopian ; circumcision was a marker of "the Other". Forced conversions, involving forced circumcision, are echoed in a vast body of scholarly literature spanning the entire history of Islam. However, taxes and regulations requiring the holders of prestigious positions to become Muslims have been regarded as a form of forced conversion.
In the aftermath of the Battle of Pollilur , 7, British soldiers were held imprisoned by Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan in the fortress of Seringapatnam. Of these, more than were forcibly circumcised. James Bristow, a teenage artilleryman , revenged himself by circumcising dogs , believing that this would harm the religious feelings of the Muslim warders.
The prospect of punishment did not deter him, because "compelling us to undergo an abhorred operation [was] so base and barbarous an act of aggression, that it was impossible to reflect on it with temper. According to Kativa Daiya, during the partition of India "[f]orced circumcision, shaving facial and head hair for Sikh men , and shaving off the Hindu Brahmin 's traditional, short, plaited hair on an otherwise bald head were routine Muslim conversion tactics for men and boys.
Iraqi Mandaeans , residing almost exclusively in Baghdad and Basra , do not circumcise. In Iraq in , shortly after the fall of the Saddam regime, the thirty-five families who made up the Mandean community in Falluja were ordered at gunpoint to adopt Islam; the men were forcibly circumcised.
In the US Committee on International Religious Freedom heard testimony reporting: "Forced conversion is happening in an alarming degree. Boys are being kidnapped, forcibly circumcised - a major sin in the Mandaean religion - and forcibly converted to Islam. In , after the exodus of the Christians from Mosul and the Yazidis from Mount Sinjar , it was reported that forced circumcisions were taking place conducted by the Islamic State .
There are accounts of Christian boys abducted and forcibly circumcised even in the nineteenth century. It is well established that, before and during the Armenian Genocide , forced conversions involving forced circumcisions of Armenian boys and men were frequent.
The children were coerced into denouncing Christianity and becoming Muslims, and were then given new Turkish names. For Armenian boys the forced conversion meant they each had to endure painful circumcision as required by Islamic custom. During the Istanbul Pogrom in September , "many Greek men, including at least one priest , were subjected to forced circumcision.
In there was a report that non-Muslim army recruits in Turkey had been threatened with forced circumcision. The Yazidi not all of whom are circumcised in Turkey have for years been subjected to direct state persecution, including compulsory religious instruction at school, forced conversion, forced circumcision, and mistreatment during military service.
John Rawlins had sailed for 23 years without incident when, in , he and his crew were kidnapped by pirates from the Barbary Coast of North Africa. Rawlins later reported that, after being taken to Algiers, two younger men were "by force and torment The Portuguese Friar Jaono dos Sanctos claimed that, annually in Algiers in the s, more than nine hundred Christian slaves were converted to Islam, "besides about fifty boys yearly circumcised against their wills.
Thousands of Christians were forcibly circumcised in the Moluccas from December to January Razors and knives were reused, causing infections. But I couldn't help but scream and he poured the water. I kept screaming aloud and vomited. I couldn't stand the pain.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the forced conversions and forced circumcisions had been condemned by moderate Muslim leaders who said they were contrary to Islamic teachings. The local governor had also investigated the incidents. Marco Polo , in his Travels , relates how a Christian king of Ethiopia took revenge on the Sultan of Aden, who had forcibly circumcised a bishop. In Kenya, most tribes circumcise.
Luo men from Western Kenya are a significant exception, for which reason they have regularly been subjected to forced circumcision. In November , the Kenyan Human Rights Commission announced that it would seek prosecutions against politicians for inciting such violence. In one instance, a cabinet minister had said, "Those who are not circumcised should be taken for a circumcision ceremony. In late January , a disputed election in which circumcision became an issue between President Mwai Kibaki, a Kikuyu and opposition candidate Raila Odinga, a Luo, "the fact that Odinga was uncircumcised became an issue: He was seen by some Kikuyus as a 'child' unfit to rule because he had not passed through circumcision and initiation.
They asked for my ID [to determine what tribe he belonged to] They slashed me and they circumcised me by force. I screamed a lot and cried for help In September , at Malaba, West Kenya, a year-old Teso man was lured to a hotel, drugged, smeared with fermented millet flour and was being led away by several Bukusu to be circumcised when the police intervened. The Teso man, who agreed to a medical circumcision, condemned the Bukusu youths for trying to impose their culture on the Teso.
Three weeks previously, village neighbours in Aedomoru sub location in Teso north armed themselves with clubs and prevented a year-old man from being forcibly circumcised. In , a woman who was feared throughout the Vaal Triangle district of South Africa, controlled a gang of kidnappers that abducted young people, forcibly circumcising the boys and extorting ransoms from their parents for their release.
A local police officer said as many as 10 teenagers had been snatched every day. In , a year-old Rastafari convert was seized by relatives and forcibly circumcised by group of Xhosa tribal elders and relatives. In December , year-old Nceba Cekiso was caught and circumcised against his will.
The report in the Cape Argus noted,. Forcing people do undergo the ancient ritual In one instance two Rastafarians objected to the procedure on religious grounds. The incident has sparked a debate on whether or not traditionalists should still be allowed to force people against their will into the bush to undergo initiation. Despite being medically circumcised, a Christian Xhosa was forcibly recircumcised by his father and community leaders in He laid a charge of unfair discrimination on the grounds of his religious beliefs, seeking an apology from his father and the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa.
In the settlement that was reached, and which was made an order of the Equality Court, the Congress of Traditional Leaders accepted the right of adult males to choose whether to attend traditional circumcision schools according to their religious beliefs.
It apologised for the comments made by its former chairman encouraging the ostracism of teenagers who refused to undergo traditional circumcision. The judge declared, "What is important in terms of the Constitution and law is that no one can be forced to submit to circumcision without his consent. According to South African newspapers, the subsequent trial became "a landmark case around forced circumcision.
There is ample evidence that, for years, Christians of Khartoum and elsewhere in Sudan have been forcefully converted to Islam, and that Christian men and boys have been forcibly circumcised.
During the following period, Islamization led to several Christians being forcibly circumcised. As discussed by anthropologist Suzette Heald and other scholars, the Gisu alternatively, Bagishu of Uganda "take pride in not tolerating uncircumcised men.
This is supported by all the Bagishu including women who often report uncircumcised men to tribal elders. It's considered traditional that no male is to escape the ritual regardless of where he lives, what he does or what kind of security he has. In a father of seven was seized and forcibly circumcised after his wife told Bagishu tribal circumcisers that he was uncircumcised.
A local official said the authorities could not intervene in a cultural ritual. Other tribal groups in Uganda and the Ugandan Foundation for Human Rights Initiative regard forced circumcision as a human rights abuse. Traditional circumcision is still practised in some tribal areas of Australia. After he passed out, a woman in the group felt down his pants, found that he was not circumcised and called on her companions to "make a man out of him. The breakup of Yugoslavia , according to Milica Z.
Bookman, "was extremely violent, producing some two million refugees, over , killed, and evidence of gang rape, impaling, dismemberment and forced circumcision. The US Department of State reported that Muslim and Mujahedin irregular troops "had routinely performed crude, disfiguring, nonmedical circumcisions on Bosnian Serb soldiers.
A man was yesterday forcibly circumcised by traditional surgeons in Mumias-Butere District as police watched helplessly. Mr John Otieko Efforts by four traffic police officers who were manning a roadblock on the highway a few metres away from the scene failed when the crowd started stoning them.
The victim was then left bleeding at the scene. District Commissioner Ernest Munyi expressed shock at the incident and told police to crack down on traditional surgeons involved in forcible circumcision. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about male circumcision. For female circumcision, see Female genital mutilation. Men's movement Mythopoetic men's movement Men's liberation movement Men's rights movement Fathers' rights movement Intactivism Meninism.
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