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article imageOp-Ed: Mass genital mutilation in world record attempt

By Bart B. Van Bockstaele     May 8, 2011 in World
Saturday, 7 May 2011, the city of Manila in the Philippines has attempted to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records by circumcising as many boys as possible.
Important update and correction: Digital Journal received a message from the Press Office of Guinness World Records to inform us that Guinness World Records does not want to be involved in this attempt:
Guinness World Records would like to clarify that it does not, under any circumstances, monitor, endorse or recognize this kind of 'record attempt'. The organizers of the event have no prior approval from Guinness World Records to use its trademarks in connection with this event and any claim to officially recognize this event will be rejected.
Needless to say that I am delighted and that, as a result, my respect for the publication and the people involved has increased again.
I would like to thank Guinness World Records for their firm position on this.
It appears that my source, De Standaard, was misinformed. I will inform them accordingly once this update is published.
Please read the article below keeping this in mind.
The Guinness Book of Records used to be fun, sometimes even somewhat interesting, but it has lost a lot of its attractiveness over the years, by accepting the most ridiculous record attempts.
However, what happened in the Philippines yesterday, must surely be a new low. According to De Standaard, the leading Dutch-language newspaper in Belgium, the city of Manila attempted to make it into the Book by circumcising as many boys as possible. You read it right. This is a city that attempted to get a spot in this frivolous book by mutilating the genitals of as many boys as possible.
The Philippines is a Christian, mainly Catholic country and although Catholicism does not demand that the genitals of its followers be mutilated as is the case for some other religions, males are traditionally not really considered Christians -or even adults for that matter- in the Philippines if their genitals are intact.
Yesterday, a soccer stadium was turned into a giant butcher shop in which hundreds of boys had their genitals mutilated.
As can be seen in the ecstatic faces of the victims, this procedure -which is done without any anaesthesia- is evidently at least as pleasurable as a tooth extraction. As for the hygiene surrounding this horror, we can only guess, but the pictures do not seem particularly encouraging.
According to De Standaard, about 1,500 boys had suffered the mutilation of their genitals just past noon.
It is bad enough that our society still allows this barbaric practice in the name of the freedom to worship the terrifying god of the Bible, but to actually attempt a world record and boast of it seems rather over the top.
In our society, we no longer allow the tails of dogs to be cut, we no longer allow their ears to be cut, we frown on declawing cats and pulling the wings of flies but we still allow the genitals of our own to be mutilated. Isn't it time to stop this madness?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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