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Foreskin Man is back to battle Muslim circumcision

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By Jennifer Lipman

Superman, Spiderman and all manner of superheroes have returned for sequel outings during which they saved the world and got the girl. So it should come as no surprise that Foreskin Man – the blonde haired, blue eyed caped crusader against male circumcision – has returned to fight foes in the Muslim world.

The character is the creation of Matthew Hess, president of the Male Genital Mutilation Bill group, which unsuccessfully campaigned for a circumcision ban in San Francisco two years ago.

In his original incarnation, Mr Hess' character sought to stop Jewish circumcision, battling against such villains as Monster Mohel and Dr Mutilator, who were depicted with peyot (sidelocks), black hats and a tallit.

Mr Hess was condemned for using "antisemitic imagery" that the Anti-Defamation League in America said called to mind "age-old antisemitic canards such as the blood libel".

The fourth edition of the comic series, released this month, is unlikely to be any less controversial, since the action takes place in Turkey, with Foreskin Man embarking on a hunt for an ancient artifact found in the Museum of Genital Integrity.

The all-American hero swoops in to protect a young Muslim boy from the sunnet (circumcision) ritual,

The comic, which can be bought as a print copy or an e-version, features baddies wearing traditional Middle Eastern dress, and portrays the boy's father as abusive, while his mother is a belly dancer.

Mr Hess said he is not concerned about the reaction from the Muslim community, despite the negative response from Jews to his original creation.

"The brutal tradition of sunnet is deeply ingrained in Muslim culture," he said. "But that doesn't mean it can't be replaced with a peaceful alternative. Rites of passage do not have to be cruel, and I hope Foreskin Man 4 will encourage child advocates in Turkey and other Muslim countries to begin questioning the legitimacy of male circumcision."

(Courtesy: The Jewish Chronicle)
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