June 13, 2011
|US anti-circumcision comic is ‘grotesque,’ ADL says|
|Male Genital Mutilation Bill group’s book features “Monster Moyel,” blond superhero in support of SF bill; ADL decries anti-Semitic stereotypes.|
|A graphic comic book distributed by the US group Male Genital Mutilation Bill, in an effort to drum up support for San Francisco’s anti-circumcision measure, has been called “grotesque” and “anti-Semitic” by the ADL.
Monster Mohel, which is one of two titles in the group’s Foreskin Man series, has taken the classic good versus evil storyline and substituted an identifiably Orthodox Jewish rabbi as the bad guy and a blond, buff superhero — dubbed” Foreskin Man” — as the force of good.
“Foreskin Man, with its grotesque anti-Semitic imagery and themes, reaches a new low and is disrespectful and deeply offensive,” said Nancy J. Appel, ADL Associate Regional Director, in a statement. “This is an advocacy campaign taken to a new low … It is one thing to debate [the issue], is another thing to degrade it.”
Matthew Hess, president of the MGMbill.org, the San Diego, Calif. – based group lobbying for the passage of the Male Genital Mutilation Bill, authored both installments of Foreskin Man. He insists that his motives are humanistic rather than anti-Semitic.
“Brit milah is child abuse in a religious context,” said Hess in a statement. “Why should an eight-day-old infant boy be forced to give up his foreskin for someone else’s spiritual beliefs? We need laws to protect male children from this painful and scarring blood ritual, and our second Foreskin Man comic book was created to get that point across.”
The ADL disagrees.
“No matter what one’s personal opinions of male circumcision, it is irresponsible to use stereotypical caricatures of religious Jews to promote the anti-circumcision agenda,” said Appel.
MGMbill.org’s first Foreskin Man comic book was published online in July 2010. A mere 8 pages, it takes a page from the Superman storylines by depicting a superhero – Foreskin Man – who assumes the identity of a corporate businessman when not protecting children from the dangers of genital mutilation. The second book appeared in December but gained increased popularity due to MGM’s recent efforts to pass the anti-circumcision bill.
Both books are available for free download at www.foreskinman.com and printed copies are available by order.
On the MGM website, Hess wrote, “The Foreskin Man comic book uses popular art to shine a spotlight on the practice of infant circumcision. Over the years there have been a lot of rationalizations and justifications to keep it going, but the bottom line is that forced circumcision violates human rights.”