Right of the parents or children to fall under religious rules

In Belgium politicians and organisations are still under consideration about circumcision, because some members believe that freedom of religion prevails, since circumcision is common among Jews and Muslims. Others believe that circumcision in men is unacceptable, as is the case with women today.

Icelandic and Belgian parliament to consider circumcision ban – Getty Images

In February legislators in Iceland have proposed a ban on circumcision of boys and some politicians want it also in Belgium. In practice of course, a ban on male circumcisions essentially outlaws Judaism and we also should know in several cases there are also medical reasons. Anticipating opposition from advocates for religious freedom, the legislation “insists the ‘rights of the child’ always exceed the ‘right of the parents to give their children guidance when it comes to religion’.”

Describing circumcision as a “violation” of young boys’ rights, the bill states the only time it should be considered is for “health reasons”.

In Iceland they think to give children the opportunity to decide for themselves once they reached the age of consent, but they forget that at that time it is a more painful business then when a baby.  Although the bill fails to make clear how old this would be, the age of sexual consent in Iceland is 15.

The Danish Medical Association said it had considered suggesting a legal ban on the procedure for children under the age of 18, because it believed circumcision should be “an informed, personal choice” that young men make for themselves.

When parents have their sons circumcised, it robs boys of the ability to make decisions about their own bodies, and choose their cultural and religious beliefs for themselves,

the organisation said.

Lise Møller, chair of the Doctors’ Association Ethics Board, said it was wrong to deny an individual the right to choose whether or not they wanted to be circumcised.

“To be circumcised should be an informed, personal choice,”

she said.

“It is most consistent with the individual’s right to self-determination that parents not be allowed to make this decision, but that it is left up to the individual when he has come of age.”

The doctors know it is difficult to predict the consequences of a ban but by making a religious matter unlawful they push it in the corner, so that it becomes more dangerous for the young boys. Now it are official rabbis who know what they do and can do such act properly. But when it becomes done in secret there is no control.

The Danish Health and Medicines Authority estimates that somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 circumcisions are performed in Denmark each year, primarily on Jewish and Muslim boys.

The majority of those procedures occur outside of the public health system and are done as part of a religious ceremony in the child’s home, or in a private clinic. But the people who do the circumcision are trained to do that in a proper as painless possible way.

According to a major 2007 study by the World Health Organization, roughly 30 per cent of the global male population is circumcised.

Lots of people look at female and male circumcision as a similar abuse.  Though they are totally different. They consider it a a mutilation, but would they consider taking away the tonsils as a mutilation also? There are also many contra indications against a tonsillectomy, though in many countries it is still a common practice to remove the tonsils by little children. and what about ear-piercing ?

Ahmad Seddeeq, the imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Iceland, called the ban

“a contravention to the religious rights of freedom” that criminalizes a centuries-old tradition.

The risks of circumcision are very much exaggerated and many forget advantages of cleanliness. The health benefits of circumcision, like helping to prevent urinary tract infections in infants, outweigh the risks.

Clinical trials conducted in Africa have demonstrated that adult circumcision can play a role in preventing HIV, genital herpes and certain strains of human papilloma virus, or HPV, the CDC reported.

Also concerning animal rights in the Netherlands and Belgium activists were hard at work trying to outlaw kosher and halal meats, and got a ban on such killing of animals, which makes it very difficult for Jews to get enough kosher meat.

All those actions fit in the effort to have certain people not staying in our regions, having them to leave because it has become impossible to live according religious laws.

One can question who is behind the ban and what are their real intentions. We can not be conscious enough of the possible aim to silence certain religious groups or to get them out of the country because they shall not be able to live according to their religious laws.

“It would not be the first time in the long tradition of the Jewish people. Throughout history, more than one oppressive regime has tried to suppress our people and eradicate Judaism by prohibiting our religious practices.”

expressed the presidents of the umbrella groups of Jewish communities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland for very good reason. Iceland, they added, does not have an organized Jewish community today.

“Banning Brit Milah will be an effective deterrent and will guarantee that no Jewish community will be established,”

they wrote.

Albert Guigui, Chief Rabbi of Brussels and Permanent Representative of the Conference of European Rabbis to the European Institutions, concurred that a circumcision ban would be an infringement on religious liberty.

“Prohibiting circumcision in a given country amounts to that very country publicly declaring that no Jewish community is welcome on its territory any longer,”

he said.

A statement released by the Council of European Bishops’ Conference, said that the proposed ban could legitimize xenophobia in Iceland and across Europe:

“This law would render a xenophobic image of Iceland in a religiously and culturally diverse world. Should this proposal go through it also risks inspiring similar initiatives in other European countries and beyond.”

“In a climate of growing anti-Semitism and Islamophobia this could encourage such tendencies elsewhere, increasing the pressure on often already vulnerable communities,”

the statement read.

+

Preceding articles

Exceptionalism and Restricting Laws

Not true or True Catholicism and True Islam

Populism endangering democracy

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Additional reading

  1. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  2. Today’s thought “Period of uncleanness and offerings” (March 1)
  3. Not trying to make the heathen live like Jews #2
  4. Do those who want to follow Christ to be Jews

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About Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".
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