Iceland is set to become the first European country to ban male circumcision with a new bill before the parliament suggesting a 6-year imprisonment for any person who performs it for non-medical purposes. The bill has since gained mixed reactions, with Jewish and Muslim leaders getting mad about it.
According to the bill, male circumcision is very similar to female genital mutilation (FGM) which is widely banned in Europe. Iceland has officially banned FGM way back 2005.
Circumcision violates children, the bill claims.
Those supporting the bill say that the practice is a violation of children’s rights based on ‘Article 12. UN Convention on the Rights of Children to Affect Your Own Life.’
Moreover, the bill likewise points out that male circumcision puts a child’s health in danger. We read:
“[Male circumcision often takes place] in homes that are not sterile and not by doctors but by religious leaders.
“There is a high risk of infections under such conditions that may lead to death.”
The anti-circumcision bill has since sparked controversy and debate.
Jewish and Muslim leaders, in particular, have condemned the bill saying it is an attack to religious freedom.
In a statement, the European Conference of Rabbis wrote:
“Circumcision is a critical part of Jewish life and no authority in the world can forbid Jews from carrying out this commandment.”
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the European Conference of Rabbis, also said:
“Although the Icelandic Jewish community is small, we cannot ignore the dangerous precedent that this law can set and the consequences that such legislation can cause in other countries.
“We call on lawmakers to immediately rescind this miserable piece of legislation and continue supporting Jewish life without limits.”
Several netizens on Twitter have also expressed support about circumcision.
One user named Ary Prasetyo even share several health benefits that come with it such as:
“Reduced risk of some sexually transmitted diseases in men. Protection against penile cancer and a reduced risk of cervical cancer in female sex partners. Prevention of inflammation of the glans and foreskin. It’s all about choice.”
Another Twitter netizen, Jose Higuera, commented:
“They should only regulate, putting medical supervision as a condition. Would be enough. Respect religions, even if you are not religious.”