REYKJAVIK—Several members of the parliament of Iceland have backed a bill calling for a ban of the circumcision of young boys in the country. The bill would impose imprisonment of up to six years on offenders.
The text was proposed by Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, a member of the Progressive Party, which is in the government coalition of Iceland.
Among other individuals presenting the bill are members of the Pirate party, the Left Greens, which is also in coalition, and the People’s Party.
In the bill, the only exception for circumcising a boy would be precisely to protect a child’s health. In all other circumstances, the bill says that the practice is ‘’a clear violation of Human Rights against children who are to small to have a say in this.’’ When it comes to religious reasons, then, the practice would be strictly banned and punished with up to six years of prison for personal assault.
The Jewish community is very small in Iceland, a country with a population of 300,000.
Circumcision but also ritual slaughter of animals are under attack in Europe from right-wing politicians who view it as a foreign import whose proliferation is often associated mostly with Muslim immigration. And it is also opposed by left-wing liberals and atheists who denounce it as a primitive form of child abuse.
In 2012, a German court in Cologne ruled that ritual circumcision of minors amounted to a criminal act. The ruling was overturned but triggered temporary bans in Austria and Switzerland.