From Iceland — Proposed Child Circumcision Ban In Iceland Prompts Diplomatic Row

Proposed Child Circumcision Ban In Iceland Prompts Diplomatic Row

Published April 4, 2018

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Kenny Louie/Wikimedia Commons

Icelandic consulates in numerous countries have received concerted criticism regarding the proposed ban on child circumcision. The Foreign Ministry believes the ban could have a negative impact on Iceland’s image.

The proposed ban, which still has yet to be voted on, has drawn international attention, and supporters and detractors alike have actively offered their perspectives. RÚV now reports that feedback regarding the bill has also reached the diplomatic level.

Icelandic consulates around the world have received considerable feedback regarding the ban, especially in Germany, the United States and Britain. None of this feedback has been positive.

The majority of these objections come from the point of view of religious freedom, but not all; some also cite cultural reasons. For example, although the practice is in decline in the US, the vast majority of boys in America are circumcised, to a degree that far outweighs the number of Jewish people and Muslims in the country.

“We’re not talking about a small group of people, but rather about one third of humanity,” Matthías G. Pálsson of Iceland’s Foreign Ministry wrote. “In light of this, it cannot be ruled out that this matter could cast Iceland in a negative light and have an effect on Icelandic interests, in both the short term and the long term.”

The bill has yet to be voted on, and might not even see a final vote this parliamentary session.

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