Denmark: Proposal to ban child circumcision

Islam in Europe - 18 November 2008

Several parliamentary parties are considering creating legislation that would spare all children from circumcision - not just girls

A proposal to ban circumcision for boys may be on its way to parliament after intense discussions by MPs over the past week, reports Kristeligt Dagblad newspaper.

Although circumcision of girls was outlawed in response to the practice being common among immigrants from some Muslim countries, boys may still be circumcised if a certified physician is present.

Jewish traditions calls for the circumcision of newborn boys, and many Muslims and Christians support the practice as well. But both the Ethics Council and the National Council for Children have recently criticised the practice, stating that a boy should be able to decide for himself if he wants the procedure performed when he reaches the age of 15 - the legal age in Denmark for a child to have sole jurisdiction over his own body.

While the Social Democrats, Red-Green Alliance and Liberal Alliance have come out in support of a ban, the Danish People's Party called it 'tyranny'.

'It's completely ridiculous to compare the circumcision of girls - which is a barbaric mutilation - with that of boys, where it's just the removal of a skin flap,' said the party's Jesper Langballe.

But the party's own health spokeswoman, Liselott Brixt, said she supports a ban.

'A lot of parents want it done to their children because they themselves had it done. But we're living in the present and it isn't fair to expose healthy children to religious circumcision.'

Source: Copenhagen Post (English)

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