According to a report from RÚV, the Government Agency for Child Protection recently stated that it will not support the bill on male circumcision issued by Icelandic MP Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir.
The Agency is first and foremost concerned about the health and safety of those children who could still be subjected to the procedure despite the ban. If circumcision becomes illegal, the Agency insists, parents could end up looking for help in the wrong places, thus putting the child at risk of infection in an unsafe, unsanitized and unprofessional environment.
Mansoor Ahmad Malik, Imam and National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Iceland, already expressed similar concerns in February. “The ban may lead to people carrying out such procedures by themselves in an inappropriate environment, perhaps causing harm to the child,” he wrote. Instead, he added, “we should find ways to make the procedure safer and more comfortable.”
In addition, the Agency is convinced that a ban on circumcision in Iceland could make circumcised children feel unwelcome or discriminated against because of their religion.
The Agency concluded their statement by praising the Icelandic government for its interest in the health and safety of children, but precisely because these matters are so important for the welfare of children, it also encouraged Iceland to have an ongoing dialogue with other countries when it comes to the legal and religious framework surrounding circumcision, and to do so with the necessary knowledge of the subject.
“Iceland can certainly become a leading force when it comes to changing people’s attitudes towards circumcision,” the Agency added. “But it can’t do so by simply criminalising the procedure.”