Born in Calcutta, India, and now living in Fresno, CA, Leon Catchatoorian explains why the violence that is so prevalent in our society begins at birth.
Dr. Frederick Leboyer was the first physician to successfully challenge ingrained beliefs about newborn awareness. After delivering 10,000 babies in a traditional hospital setting, Leboyer tried a different approach that generated amazing results. He found that newborns who were allowed to bond with their mother immediately after birth and were born in a quiet room under dim lighting grew up to be ambidextrous and non-violent as adults. His books such as “Birth Without Violence” have forever revolutionized prenatal care and the way babies are introduced to the world.
In 1959, Leboyer took his first trip to India. He continued to visit that country for two months out of every year for the next two decades. While abroad, Leboyer witnessed and learned how pregnant women and new mothers can greatly benefit from a regimen of yoga exercises.
Catchatoorian first became interested in the Leboyer method of birthing when his son was born prematurely. He became an intactivist opposed to genital mutilation when his wife wanted to circumcise their son when the boy was 3 years old.
While the Qur’an does not mention circumcision, Muslims are the largest single group in the world who circumcise boys. Ideally, opposition to Islamic circumcision must begin within Islam itself. The problem is where to start and how to proceed, when the practice is so entrenched in Islamic culture and the Islamic Intactivist movement is so tiny.
The main reason given for Islamic circumcision is (ritual) cleanliness. It is difficult to argue against this line of reasoning, except to point out that there is no reason for male genitalia to be more unclean than female genitalia.
National Organization of Restoring Men