JENNY Klinge, Norway’s Centre Party justice policy spokeswoman, has angered religious leaders by condemning the ritual circumcision of infant boys. Calling it “outdated” and “dangerous”, she called for its ban. She said:
In my view, this is a custom that we cannot accept in a modern, civilized society. Our aim is to prioritise the rights of small children. Fortunately, it has become forbidden to circumcise girls, now it’s time for boys to get the same legal protection.
Jenny Klinge says the ritual circumcision of infant boys is barbarous
She stressed that boys who have been ritually circumcised can never remove what she called “a religious marker” if they choose to convert to another religion or have no religious beliefs.
I’m not buying the argument that banning circumcision is a violation of religious freedom, because such freedom must involve being able to choose for themselves.
But she stressed that she was not opposed to circumcision in cases where it was deemed a medical necessity.
However, circumcision based on ritual and religion is actually about holding down a newborn baby boy and cutting off part of a healthy sexual organ, with all the consequences that this might have for an individual’s future health and sex life.
With this in mind, performing a circumcision on religious grounds ought to be made a criminal offence, she added.
Jan Helge Solbakk, a professor of medical ethics at Oslo University, agreed with Klinge’s criticism of the practice.
It represents an irreversible operation on a boy who is not in a position to protect himself, and as such is in breach of basic human rights.
Ervin Kohn, Chairman and Trustee of the Jewish community disagrees, saying a ban would serve as a very strong signal that the Jews are an unwanted minority in the country. He claims that 99 percent of all Jews in the world circumcise their male children.
It is the visible covenant between Abraham and God. It goes directly on religious freedom and that Norway is a tolerant society.
Kohn also points out that research has documented the health benefits of circumcision.