Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

European Muslims And Jews Work Together On Ritual Slaughter And Circumcision

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — A major intergovernmental agency for cooperation in Europe called attempts to limit religious customs on the continent forms of “intolerance and discrimination.”

A spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE, made the assertion at the end of a two-day rountable meeting on non-medical circumcision of minors, ritual slaughter of animals and other religious customs that it organized in the Dutch capital this week for European Jews, Muslims and anti-racism activists.

Titled “Freedom of Religion or Belief and Conviction-Based Practices (including Male Circumcision and Ritual Animal Slaughter),” the event Tuesday and Wednesday was one of the largest Jewish-Muslim joint gatherings ever held on these issues in Europe. It was attended by dozens of Jewish and Muslim community leaders, as well as anti-racism activists.

“Diverse communities must join together in the face of intolerance and discrimination,” Ilan Cohn, a project manager at the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, said in a statement about the meeting.

Cohn’s office said provided an “opportunity for Jewish and Muslim community leaders to learn how to build sustainable national advocacy coalitions that promote tolerance and non-discrimination.”

In recent years, a growing number of European governments and parliaments have introduced legislation and regulations limiting religious customs, and particularly non-medical circumcision and ritual slaughter of animals, which are performed by Muslims and Jews.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.