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Denmark & Sweden may Ban Non-Medical Circumcision of Boys

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Epigraph
On that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and all those born in his household or bought with his money, every male in his household, and circumcised them, as God told him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised, and his son Ishmael was thirteen; Abraham and his son Ishmael were both circumcised on that very day. And every male in Abraham’s household, including those born in his household or bought from a foreigner, was circumcised with him. (Genesis 17:23-27)

A famous landmark and boat ride in Copenhagen, Denmark

A famous landmark and boat ride in Copenhagen, Denmark

Source: International Business Times

The debate whether to remove the foreskin of infant boys’ penises had partly been settled in Sweden and Denmark, following the strong recommendation of a ban on non-medical circumcision of male newborns.

However, circumcision would still be allowed if the boy reaches the age of 12 and he consents to the procedure considered a rite of manhood in many cultures. The recommendation is contained in a resolution approved by majority members of the Sweden Medical Association which covers about 85 per cent of doctors in Sweden.

Similarly, the Danish College of General Practitioners, which has 3,000 members, issued a statement that ritual circumcision of male children is equal to abuse and mutilation. About 87 per cent of Danish GPs favored the ban on non-medical circumcision.

MORE

The Muslim Times’ Chief Editor’s comments:

It seems that the Danish and the Swedish doctors have not been keeping pace with the latest medical science.  For their benefit, I am linking information with suitable links here:

Science of Circumcision: Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac or St. Paul?

Denmark & Sweden may Ban Non-Medical Circumcision of Boys and the Muslim Times’ Response

Posted by on January 29, 2014. Filed under Denmark,Europe,Religion & Science,Religion and Science,Religions,Sweden. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

20 Responses to Denmark & Sweden may Ban Non-Medical Circumcision of Boys

  1. Jamie

    January 29, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Muslims are obligated to be circumcised and circumcision, like any other medically unnecessary surgery, should not be performed with the consent of the person undergoing the surgery. It’s not a parental right to deprive a child of normal sexual function.

  2. Jamie

    January 29, 2014 at 9:03 am

    I’m sorry. I meant to say Muslims are not obligated to be circumcised. My autocorrect changes a-r-e-n to are instead of aren’t.

  3. Kelev Katan

    January 29, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Like all traditions, circumcision must change with the times. It is no longer considered ethical to perform unnecessary procedures like circumcision on unconsenting minors. It really is something that adults should choose for themselves, not something parents should force onto children. Let adults choose whether or not they wish to be circumcised, but it’s time to stop cutting children.

  4. Zia Shah

    January 29, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Dear Jamie and Kelev Katan, please also review some of the medical evidence, in favor of male circumcision, which I have linked above.

    Would it make any sense to stop feeding young children, until they can speak and tell us that they want food or at least choose, which foods they want, rather than us insisting on giving them breast milk or other milk?

    If there is a utilitarian value for a practice, we should not legislate against it.

    Please also remember that Jesus, may peace be on him, was also raised as a Jew and was circumcised and it is documented in the Bible.

  5. Kelev Katan

    January 29, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Zia, just like the religious and cultural rationales, if the medical evidence is compelling enough for the man considering the procedure then he should be free to use that information as part of his decision whether or not to do it. Again, though, that should be left up to the man himself decide, not be imposed on him by those invoking medical reasons to deprive people of their choice to decide for themselves.

  6. Ghulam Sarwar

    January 29, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    This practice has been going on since about 4000 years and many million Jews and Muslim men have been circumcised and there has been no harm to any one, why is the issue being raise?. If it is a monetary matter that it puts financial pressure on government then it should be discussed under finance.

    Otherwise, Any one believing in God will not object to male circumcision. But the atheists could resist circumcision under one pretext or the other. According to old testament, God told it to Abraham a.s. It was a binding pact between God and the believers. That is why the Jews observe it as a sacred duty. The Muslims also believe in prophet Abraham a.s. and all other prophets including Issac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and Jesus a.s. and all these persons I have mentioned were circumcised.

    This procedure is better and easy to be performed in very young age. It should be done by qualified persons, in present age by doctors at hospitals. There is no harm and no need to worry about it. I am sure that any Jew or Muslim, doctor or parent or legislator, will not oppose it. The Christians should also not oppose it. But their case is different because they seem to follow Paul more than Jesus a.s.

  7. David

    January 29, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    Relics of our primitive past that should finally be done away with. I only wish other nations were as progressive as Denmark and Sweden.

  8. Kasper L. Jakobsen

    January 30, 2014 at 12:32 am

    Hey so I’m from Denmark plus I’m political active.

    Please change you title on this article since it’s false, it will only discredit your name as blogger Amtul Q Farhat. Reddit is going nuts about this and many think that there is a ban on this, however it’s only an debate… Thanks and have a lovely day Amtul Q Farhat.

    ps: Next consider the headlines in your next article please, for your own honor sake.

  9. Emanon

    January 30, 2014 at 1:08 am

    If you think that circumcision reduces the chance to get STDs why would you use this as an argument for the circumcision of boys younger than 12?

    Let the boys grow up and let doctors cut their foreskin off with their consent.

  10. Zia Shah

    January 30, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Circumcision at age 12 is far more painful and disruptive then during the first month of life.

  11. Bob

    January 30, 2014 at 2:36 am

    There are some benifits for circumcision if you are sexually active with multiple partners. Now as a muslim you should not have multiple partners so that argument is null and void. There are many benifits to having a foreskin when you are dealing with safe sex.

    If you want to argue for the medical necesity of circumcision how would your good feel about supporting sexual immorality?

  12. Justin Time

    January 30, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Zia Shah wrote:

    Would it make any sense to stop feeding young children, until they can speak and tell us that they want food or at least choose, which foods they want, rather than us insisting on giving them breast milk or other milk?

    If there is a utilitarian value for a practice, we should not legislate against it.

    Feeding is necessary for survival, and it is also a need that the child expresses. Circumcision is not.

    Regarding the utilitarian value, keep in mind that there is also an utilitarian value to remove the appendix, or other parts of the body. Do you think it should be allowed to remove a baby’s appendix as a prevention measure? I think not.

    Overall, it is an issue of bodily autonomy.

  13. Mattias

    January 30, 2014 at 2:48 am

    Why didn’t God create us without a foreskin if it’s so good to be without one?

    //circumcisied

  14. Zia Shah

    January 30, 2014 at 4:26 am

    The Jews, the Muslims and the Coptic Christians practice circumcision and other Christians don’t. There in lies the conflict and tension that we want to explore here.

    For centuries the Christian apologists had criticized Islam and Judaism for male circumcision and sang the praises of their fore-fathers and their customs. Even in 2012 we hear of political activism in Germany to ban the practice of male circumcision. Little did they know that God will over throw their strategy with a very small virus, only 0.1 micron in size, namely HIV virus and establish the utilitarian values of His revealed law, which was given up by St. Paul and declared to be a curse.

    Jesus, may peace be on him, was born and raised as a Jew and followed and interpreted the Jewish Law, all his life. A narrative in the Christian Gospel of Luke makes a brief mention of the circumcision of Jesus. When St. Paul came on the scene, some 20 years after Jesus was put on the cross and took on himself to preach to the Gentiles, he hit a road block. He discovered that the Gentiles were not ready to go through the ordeal of adult circumcision to be Christians. So, in a moment of Machiavellian creativity, St. Paul came up with the idea of over throwing the yoke of Moses’ Law and called dietary restrictions and circumcision a curse, even though he himself being Jewish had been circumcised. As the generations of Christians idolized and idealized with Pauline teachings, a line was drawn in the sand. For centuries to come, the Jews maintained the tradition of Patriarch Abraham and Christians condemned it. Islam preserved everything worthwhile in the previous religions and scriptures and as Islam spread, the tradition of male circumcision became common among the masses, through out the globe. The conflict created by St. Paul continued for centuries, but, the plot began to thicken in the last few decades with the arrival of the HIV pandemic. As millions died from the infection, scientists reconfirmed that there is a silver lining to every cloud and that there is something positive to be gained from every tragedy. What they found was that Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Moses, Jesus, John the Baptist, who baptized Jesus and Muhammad, may peace be on all of them, were all correct and the only odd man out is St. Paul!

    Circumcision is known to reduce a man’s risk of HIV infection by at least half, but scientists don’t know why. A new study offers support for the theory that removing the foreskin deprives troublesome bacteria of a place to live, leaving the immune system in much better shape to keep the human immunodeficiency virus at bay.

    For additional info, click here.

  15. Mikko Ahonen

    January 30, 2014 at 5:00 am

    If it would be just Muslims, it would have been banned decades ago. But as the Jews are powerful enough to influence the political decision making in Europe and the USA, no such legislation will be passed in near future. Just look at the example of Germany, the government was quick enough to reject any ban because of pressure from Israel (ref: video). So calm down and don’t panic.

    By the way there is no talk about piercing of children under 12? Is that OK because it is universal? Are our decisions or at least wishes based only on religious hatred? Religion and then resultant religious hatred are holding this world back.

  16. Qudsia

    January 30, 2014 at 6:54 am

    Parents are allowed a level of “mutilation” where there’s some kind of a purpose, the pain is short lived and there is no functional harm. People all over the world routinely get young girls’ ears pierced. It’s allowed in the US, at least. The purpose here is very superficial, but we don’t generally consider such parents to be barbarians.

    Those who practice circumcision guided by their faith, do so thinking it to be a healthier and more hygienic option for their boys.

    There is a strong link between circumcision and avoidance of HIV. It is thus offered to adults in Arican countries by the World Health Organization. I wish they would do studies on women’s health, especially in developing countries. I have a strong feeling those with circumcised partners will be found to contract less urinary tract infections and other germs.

    Circumcision is still allowed in the West because it causes no loss of function. The entire Jewish and Muslim world can to attest to that.

    Pain and recovery time increases with age. Having my own son circumcised in an American hospital the 2nd day of birth, I couldn’t really tell any difference in his behavior. Probably due to local anesthetics I guess..but even after it should have worn off, he didn’t cry anymore than for regular needs.

    Banning circumcision will only make people do it at homes, and that will not be the better option for the child…because if the precedure goes bad, or even if it doesn’t, or in case the child has some other illness, people will avoid taking their child to the doctor to avoid prosecution. There’s no good in banning it, and a lot of harm is bound to occur.

  17. Yeoman Roman

    January 30, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Ghulam,

    Plenty of Theists, Christians Muslims and Jews object to infant and child circumcision.

    The practice is a blood ritual, sexual theft, and sexual assault. It damages the penis, impairs function abnormalizes sex. (Done on a unconsenting child for non therapeutic reasons it is sexual assault.)

    If you had a complete functioning penis, you would know this. You and your culture, don’t have experience with this.

    Circumcision of boys and girls is a gross violation of their rights as human beings.

  18. Ghulam Sarwar

    January 30, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Yeoman, sorry, I could not understand your views. I am interested to know about your faith, what religion are you following. There is no medical point against circumcision of male child. Forget about the females.

    I do not agree with you that Jews and Muslims are going against circumcision of male children. Let the atheists and Christians go against it. But not Muslims and law abiding Jews, they will not speak against circumcision.

    There is a simple point. If any one does not like to do it, let them not do it. Why such persons are trying to make a law, to stop others. They better mind their own business. Also, there is no need for the government to interfere in the non-political matters of faith. Such matters (like circumcision etc) do not harm the government. Then the governments should also not interfere and harm the matters of faith.
    After all, faith is necessary, even the atheists need it and the government needs faithful people who love their country and have faith in their government. Faith has to be on some kind of belief.

    yeoman, your very first sentence [Plenty of Theists, Christians Muslims and Jews object to infant and child circumcision] is unbelievable. Do you have some data?

    There is no harm in circumcision. You are trying to make a fool of many men of God, i.e. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. You are making a fool of the sacred writings such as the old testament etc. It is a practice, has been going on for very long time. It has its usefulness. There is no blood sacrifice in it. It is a good practice for cleanliness.
    More than a billion Muslims are practicing it. Add to that the Jews and some practicing Christians, the number in favor of male circumcision will rise to about 2 billion (count in favor, the mothers and fathers, all). That number is nearly a third of the world population.

    yeoman, perhaps you could not give a good reason against male circumcision.

  19. Lutf

    January 30, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Interesting views. When abortion was banned it was performed in the back streets with devastating effects. When alcohol was banned in the US we know what happened. Circumcision has proven and obvious medical benefits in addition to being a religious practice. Those who think it can be successfully banned are delusional and hateful. Religious extremism is not just in the east. It is at display right here in the West.

  20. Zia Shah

    January 31, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Quoting Huffinton Post:
    Medical associations in Sweden and Denmark have strongly recommended a ban on the non-medical circumcision of boys, reports the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

    The Sweden Medical Association, which counts 85% of the country’s physicians as members, recommended setting twelve as the minimum age for the procedure and requiring a boy’s consent in a resolution which was unanimously passed by the ethics council, reported the Svenska Dagbladet.

    The Danish College of General Practitioners, a group with 3,000 members, made a statement that ritual circumcision of boys was tantamount to abuse and mutilation, according to Danish newspaper BT. They polled their readers and found that 87% were in favor of a ban on non-medical circumcision.

    In the Jewish tradition, the ritual circumcision is usually carried out eight days after a baby’s birth. Ritual circumcision is also a part of the Muslim faith, usually taking place before the age of ten.

    Current Swedish legislation states that both medical and non-medical circumcision must be carried out by a licensed professional. Jewish ritual circumcisers (mohels) receive licenses from the national health board, but are required to be attended by a doctor or nurse during the procedure.

    In September 2013, the Child Rights International Network released a joint statement from the Nordic Ombudsmen for children and pediatric experts which said, “As Ombudsmen for Children and pediatric experts we are of the opinion that circumcision without medical indication is in conflict with Article 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which addresses the child’s right to express his/her own views in all matters concerning him/her, and Article 24, point 3, which states that children must be protected against traditional practices that may be prejudicial to their health.” It was signed by representatives from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, and Greenland.

    Though some see these recommendations as needed step forward for children’s rights, others perceive them as a reflection of anti-Semitism and anti-immigrant sentiment in Nordic society.

    Erik Ullenhag, Sweden’s minister for integration, said that existing rules on circumcision would not be changed. “I have never met any adult man who experienced circumcision as an assault,” Ullenhag said, according to JTA. “The procedure is not very intensive and parents have the right to raise their children according to their faith and tradition.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/27/circumcision-ban-sweden-denmark_n_4674547.html?utm_hp_ref=judaism