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Music: Say No to Circumcision - Leave Those Babies Alone!Tim King Salem-News.Com
'I had heard and seen battle injured soldiers before but this screaming raised the hair on my neck" - Dr. Phil Leveque, reference to using GOMCO clamp to circumcise infant
(SALEM, Ore.) - The #1 controversy facing American parents in 2010 was male infant circumcision. That's quite a statement, but the real eye opener is the knowledge that it is needless, genital mutilation, and that it is dangerous, even potentially fatal, particularly for infants. In fact not a single medical group in the world recommends it.
As an author, singer and songwriter who takes on the hardest subjects, Agron Belica's level of social consciousness is wide awake; his radar is on and his passion is hard to miss. The negativity of circumcision struck Agron like a sledgehammer when he realized how serious and far reaching it is, and you can't miss it in his incredible new song: (Say No to Circumcision) - Leave Those Babies Alone!
The Qur’an makes no mention of circumcision. In fact, there are verses in the Quran that suggest opposition to the practice: “We have indeed created man in the best of molds.” (Q. 95:4) Also, “the nature framed by God, there is no altering God’s creation.” (Q.30:30); “God is the One who made the earth a habitat for you, and the sky as a structure, and He designed you and has perfected your design.” (Q. 40:64)
As you will gather from Agron's new song, circumcision seems more like something the devil ordered, “I will command them and they will change God’s creation.” (Q. 4:119) When God says he created man in the best of molds that also includes the foreskin. I believe there is a reason why God designed us the way he did, as you will see below in the discussion concerning the benefits of retaining the foreskin.
People of each of the monotheistic faiths have an equal stake in this. We all care about our children as much or more as we care for ourselves, and once we grasp an understanding of a serious subject, we are pretty good about spreading the word. Few subjects deserve more conversation than this one.
This Muslim and Jewish practice found its way into the western world in the 1850's, after a popular writer in London suggested that circumcision would lead to a reduction in masturbation among boys. We have to remind ourselves that people truly believed then, that masturbation caused blindness.
It's all a "world is flat" type of discussion. It won't be long and people will look back at our time of cutting the end of our male baby's penises off with revulsion and embarrassment; they won't believe it ever became a custom here.
It is also true that uncircumcised males don't have hygiene problems that are off the charts as old wives' tales imply; and it certainly doesn't prevent AIDS and HIV as western medical organizations have falsely conveyed to people on that continent.
Nope, it all goes back to being the mark of a slave thousands of years ago, and something that the Jewish and Muslim people with their common heritage, just couldn't let go of. I asked to comment on Islam and circumcision.
"Abraham is mentioned a number of times in the Quran, but there is no mention of his circumcision. God says: 'We did not leave anything out of this book' (Q. 6:38) 'The word of your lord is complete, in truth and justice. Nothing shall abrogate His words. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.'(Q. 6:115) 'And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive. He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the religion of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you submitters, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to God! He is your Protector - the Best to protect and the Best to help!' (Q. 22:78)."
Agron says Muslims who have been persuaded to accept this barbaric practice often quote traditions (hadith) attributed to the prophet Muhammad: "The Prophet Ibrahim circumcised himself when he was eighty years old and he circumcised himself with an axe." (Related by Bukhari, Muslim, and Ahmad.)
He continued, "I personally do not believe the Prophet made any such statement. This was obviously an idea borrowed from the Bible and attributed to him. We read in Genesis, Ch. 17:9-10: 'And God said unto Abraham, Thou shall keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; every man child among you shall be circumcised.'"
Many Jewish Rabbis and scholars believe that this passage about Abraham is an interpolation, an invention of later Judaic priests: “Biblical scholars, however, have known for a long time that this passage was never in the original Bible. It was added about 500 B.C., over one thousand years after the time of Abraham. Scholars David Rosenberg and Harold Bloom have published a full translation of the original version of Genesis, which dates from about 950B.C. Here, Chapter 17 is conspicuously absent.
All we read is that it was that day Yahweh cut a covenant with Abram: "I gave this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, Euphrates—of the Kenite, and Kenizzite, the Kadmonite; of Hittite, the Perizzite, the Rephaim; of the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Girashite, the Jubisite’" (Paul M. Fleiss, Fredirick Mansfield Hodges, What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Circumcision; Rosenberg D, Bloom H (trans and eds). The Book of J., New York: Grove Weidenfeld; 1990 p.79)
In addition, Rabbi and historian Lawrence A. Hoffman explains the reason why circumcision was incorporated into priestly Judaism: “they did this by instituting a temple-centered sacrificial cult into which newborn males were initiated by circumcision. They created the Abrahamic circumcision myth and inserted it into the most important part of Genesis, pretending that it had been there all along. The priesthood maintained their grip on power until about A.D. 71, when they were overthrown. Circumcision has remained a Hebrew practice ever since.” (Hoffman L A. Covenant of Blood: Circumcision and Gender in Rabbinic Judaism. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press; 1996.)
While some in Islam say that circumcision is obligatory, most scholars consider it a sunna that is highly recommended, a recommendation that frankly puzzles me. One would assume that everybody has a choice in the matter of circumcision, however in practice this only extends to adult males who convert to Islam, but not to the infants born to Muslim parents. According to this idea, the parent has an option whether or not to perform this rite, but the rights of the child are ignored. I strongly believe this option should be seriously reconsidered as in Islam “there is no compulsion in religion,” a right extended to every human being.
So how does a parent deal with this conflict when their child is part of a system that doesn't yet understand the problematic nature of circumcision? I asked Agron to talk about conflict between family obligation and religious tradition.
"Yes, you can educate your child in your religion, but to go so far as to mutilate a male child’s God-given anatomy, because of what you have judged to be correct, is not justified. The opinions offered by most Muslim scholars on this issue fail to uphold the child’s right to make his choice about whether or not to get circumcised. If, at a responsible age, he chooses to be circumcised of his own free will, fine. Freedom of religion also extends to the child. The child has God-given rights that should be respected. He should be given the opportunity to research the matter and come to his own decision about circumcision when he reaches a mature age of understanding. And, should he choose to get circumcised, then he has made his own choice. As God says, 'there is no compulsion in religion.'" (Q. 2:256)
I am consistently amazed with Agron's ability to turn an important message from today's news into a song that not only attracts young listeners, but people of all ages.
He responds to things like the Genocide of Sri Lanka where tens of thousands were ethnically cleansed by state terrorism; the actions of the brave activists of Gaza who resist and document Israel's deadly brutal occupation; and he mourns the loss of people like eight-year-old Leiby Kletzky of Brooklyn, an innocent Jewish boy after disappearing from his own neighborhood. Those are all songs cut and released in recent months, several have done well on the charts and continue to.
I know that important ideas I pitch to Agron have the potential to become the next song, and when I don't suggest subjects it is OK, because he is constantly discovering his own, he isn't done; in fact I think he has a very long way to go. Watch for the new album Newsic by Agron Belica, commissioned by Salem-News.com to educate the world with a fusion of riveting information set to an incredible sound.
It is my honor and pleasure to have produced the video below of Agron's new song, I know that if we reach just one single family and save one boy, we win. Here's to that!
Be advised, this is a graphic video:
(Say No To Circumcision) Leave Those Babies Alone by Agron Belica (featuring Patrick Dreier) Produced by Tim Adamack Co-Produced by Agron Belica, and Patrick Dreier
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