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Merkel: Circumcision ban will make Germany a laughing stock

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that Germany could become a laughing stock if it fails to overturn a district court ban on circumcision that has enraged Jews and Muslims.
Merkel's government has already criticised the Cologne court ruling and promised a new law to protect the right to circumcise male infants, but the conservative leader's strong comments underline how sensitive Germany is to charges of intolerance because of its Nazi past.
"I do not want Germany to be the only country in the world where Jews cannot practise their rituals. Otherwise we will become a laughing stock," the Bild daily quoted Merkel as telling a closed meeting of her Christian Democrats.
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