In Norway, plan hatched for 'symbolic' circumcision

By Zoe Winograd, August 9, 2012

Norway’s ombudsman for children’s rights has proposed that Jews and Muslims replace male circumcision with a non-surgical ritual.

Dr Anne Lindboe, ombudsman and paediatrician, told the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten last month that male circumcision is a violation of a person’s rights over their own body. She said: “Muslim and Jewish children are entitled to the same protection as all other children.”

Her statement came after the Norwegian Ministry of Health proposed earlier this year that circumcision should only take place in state hospitals.

“There are no health reasons for doing this procedure. It is wrong to do a surgical procedure on a healthy child,” Dr Lindboe said.

“You should not circumcise boys before they reach an age to make the decision themselves… I think we need to find other rituals for a young boy,” she said.

Ervin Kohn, President of the Oslo Jewish Community, said: “Circumcision is a religious mitzvah, it is a commandment, it is the most important Jewish factor we have. The Jewish community can not remain in existence if circumcision is banned.”

Last updated: 10:50am, August 9 2012