Norwegian Official: Jews, Muslims Circumcise Out of Ignorance

Parents from minorities would shy away from practice if they knew risk, pain and lack of health benefits involved, Norwegian government’s child welfare adviser says.

JTA
JTA
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
JTA
JTA

The Norwegian government’s child welfare adviser said Jews and Muslims would stop circumcising children if they learn more about the risks and pain that the procedure involves.

“With good information about risk, pain and lack of health benefits of the intervention, I think parents from minorities would voluntarily abstain from circumcising children,” Anne Lindboe, Norway’s Children’s Ombudsmen, told the Norwegian Aftenpost daily last week.

Lindboe, who last year advised Jews and Muslims to replace circumcision with “a symbolic ritual,” also told the paper that non-medical circumcision of pre-teen boys should be outlawed and those performing it should be punished similarly to people who use violence against children.

“We introduced a law on violence against children even though we had reason to believe that individuals would still be beaten and mistreated,” she said, dismissing concerns raised in Norwegian media that a ban on ritual circumcision would mean that parents would perform it illegally.

“If 15 years is set as the minimum age, we expect Norwegian parents follow and respect the law,” said Lindboe, a longtime advocate of the criminalization of ritual circumcision, which she considers a form of abuse and infringement of children’s rights to “physical integrity.” She added: “I think it’s disrespectful towards minorities to assume that they are going to break the law.”

Lindboe was commenting on Norwegian Health Minister Bent Hoie’s announcement this month that Norway would introduce new legislation “to regulate” ritual circumcision.

The details of the planned legislation were not made known but Ervin Kohn, president of The Jewish Community of Oslo, told JTA he did not expect it to lead to a ban on ritual circumcision in Norway.

A Jewish circumcision ceremony.Credit: Limor Edry

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

The Orion nebula, photographed in 2009 by the Spitzer Telescope.

What if the Big Bang Never Actually Happened?

בן גוריון

'Strangers in My House': Letters Expelled Palestinian Sent Ben-Gurion in 1948, Revealed

AIPAC

AIPAC vs. American Jews: The Toxic Victories of the 'pro-Israel' Lobby

Bosnian Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic speaks during a press conference in Sarajevo, Bosnia in May.

‘This Is Crazy’: Israeli Embassy Memo Stirs Political Storm in the Balkans

Hamas militants take part in a military parade in Gaza.

Israel Rewards Hamas for Its Restraint During Gaza Op

Palestinians search through the rubble of a building in which Khaled Mansour, a top Islamic Jihad militant was killed following an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza strip, on Sunday.

Gazans Are Tired of Pointless Wars and Destruction, and Hamas Listens to Them