The ban on circumcision in Iceland: Humanity or hypocrisy?
by Roald Eyvindsson
This month Iceland made headlines across the world, following a heated debate about a new bill, currently before the Icelandic parliament (Alþingi), that proposes to ban any kind of mutilation on children, including religious circumcision. If passed into law Iceland would become the first European country to do so.
The MP who put the bill forward, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir of The Progressive Party (Framsókn), claims that non-medical circumcision of baby boys violates their human rights as outlined in the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. She has compared it to FGM, i.e. female genital mutilation which is already banned in Iceland and has been since 2005.
Male circumcision is integral in both Jewish and Islamic faiths. Within the Christian tradition, circumcision is optional. Often, the parents' choice is influenced by whether the male parent has been circumcised. The Catholic Church - who is unlikely to be affected greatly - "has expressed concerns over religious persecution".