New Proposed Law Would Ban Circumcision
Religious leaders from a variety of faiths have attacked Iceland for proposing a law that they argue would destroy one of the foundations of religion.
Iceland is proposing the banning of male circumcision, with a penalty of up to 6 years in jail. Circumcision is used as part of Judaism, Islam, and certain Christian denominations.
The bill was introduced by the Progressive Party, who argue that the bill is designed to protect the rights of the child, who do not have the ability to consent to the procedure, which is usually done at a very young age. They have said the use of it as part of religious ritual is a non-issue for them.
Iceland would be the first European nation to ban circumcision, although it has been ruled in German court to have to be practiced in a safe and medically appropriate manner that protects the health of the child.
About 1 in 3 men in the world are circumcised. It is unclear if the law will actually pass and come into effect. Jewish organizations have said that the law would completely disrupt what it means to have Jewish identity in Iceland.
Further enraging religious leaders have been comparisons that proponents of the bill have made to female circumcision, a cultural practice that has been nearly universally demonized as cruel and barbaric.
There has been no official comment from European nations or the European Union.