Circumcision protest
Anti-circumcision movements have been gaining momentum: A demonstration in Canada. Photo by Reuters
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Norway's ombudsman for children's rights has proposed that Jews and Muslims replace male circumcision with a symbolic, nonsurgical ritual.

Dr. Anne Lindboe told the newspaper Vart Land last month that circumcising boys was a violation of their right to decide over their own body.

"Muslim and Jewish children are entitled to the same protection as all other children," Lindboe said, adding that the practice caused unnecessary pain and was medically unbeneficial.

Lindboe, a pediatrician, was appointed ombudsman in June. Her predecessor, Reidar Hjermann, proposed setting 15 as the minimum age for circumcision. According to Jewish religious law, Jewish babies must be circumcised when they are eight days old.

The Ombudsman for Children in Norway is an independent governmental institution entrusted with safeguarding the rights of minors.

Ervin Kohn, president of Oslo's Jewish Community, said that Norwegian Jews "will not be able to live in a society where circumcision is forbidden." He noted that the mandate of Norway's children's ombudsman did not extend to devising Jewish rituals.

Norway's Jewish community has about 700 members.

In June, a spokesperson for Norway's Centre Party, which has 11 out of 169 seats in parliament, proposed a ban on circumcising babies.