Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Those anti-circumcision Muslims

Over at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin makes an argument I'm having trouble wrapping my head around: that the new wave of interest in banning circumcision in Germany is evidence not only of anti-Jewish and not anti-Muslim sentiment (already a tough case to make, given current demographics and anxieties), but also of an anti-Jewish mood perpetuated by Europe's Muslims. At least I think that's what he's driving at, although I may have gotten lost somewhere around where he segued from Germany to France.

What this kind of argument illustrates is how awkward is to classify pro-Jewish or pro-Israel stances as conservative. Because one images that if circumcision were only practiced by Muslims, and not by Jews, Europe might be celebrated for cracking down on this oh-so-barbaric multiculti ritual. At the same time, because it's not very conservative to root for the marginalized minority in the face of hyphen-less white Christians (culturally Christian or practicing), it's unacceptable to suggest that anti-Jewish sentiment in Europe might actually be less about Islam and more about the fact that 1945 didn't change everything, and there are still plenty of white Europeans not so fond of Jews. Of course, these days that set is generally too busy hating Muslims to have much time to devote to hating Jews.

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