Politician Behind Iceland Circumcision Ban Bill Admits She Didn’t Consult Jews by the Forward

Politician Behind Iceland Circumcision Ban Bill Admits She Didn’t Consult Jews

The politician behind a bill in Iceland that would ban circumcision on children younger than 18 admitted that she didn’t consult Jewish and Muslim groups who would be affected by the ban.

“I didn’t think it was necessary to consult,” Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, a member of parliament from the Progressive Party, told The Independent on Monday. “I don’t see it as a religious matter.”

The bill, which is backed by parties making up 46% of the seats in parliament, would impose a punishment of up to six years in prison.

“Jews are welcome in Iceland. But this is about child protection and children’s rights. That comes first, and before the religious rights of the adult,” Gunnarsdóttir added.

Advocates of circumcision, including many medical professionals, say that circumcision reduces the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. The children’s ombudsmen of all Nordic countries — including Iceland — released a joint statement in 2013 proposing bans on male circumcision in their countries, though none have been enacted.

“This is the biggest threat to Jewish life in Scandinavia,” Yair Melchior, the chief rabbi of Denmark, told the Forward last week. “It raises questions for us: ‘Does it mean we’re not wanted? Do we have a future here?’”

Iceland’s population of 300,000 includes several dozen Jews and a few hundred Muslims. The country’s first-ever full-time rabbi will arrive in May.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

Author

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink

Aiden Pink is the Deputy News Editor for the Forward. Contact him at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink .

MP Behind Iceland Circumcision Ban Didn’t Consult Jews

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Politician Behind Iceland Circumcision Ban Bill Admits She Didn’t Consult Jews

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close