At a time when anti-semitism has shown up in more ways and more places in Europe, a number of countries are considering a ban on a practice that has been deeply ingrained in Jewish life for eons.
Denmark’s Parliament is expected to vote soon on a motion to ban circumcision, according to Rabbi Andrew Baker, the American Jewish Committee’s director of international Jewish affairs, writing at Religion News Service this week. Finland and Belgium are considering similar legislation, he said. In recent years, legislators and activists in Iceland, Germany and Sweden have attempted to prohibit the practice.
Baker attributes the push for bans, in part, to children’s rights defenders who claim it is an act of disfigurement and mutilation.“In fact, some compare it to female genital mutilation, a barbaric procedure that is banned in most countries,” he writes.
While medical circumcision of infants is common in America, the practice is much rarer in Europe. But in Jewish and Muslim communities, circumcision is still considered a religious obligation, but western Europeans, who are “strongly secular,” tend to view organized religion with skepticism and even disdain, he explained.
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