Iceland law to outlaw male circumcision sparks row over religious freedom

Source: The Guardian


16 replies

  1. Both Islam and Judaism have bifurcated ethical systems which leads some to think that Islam is just an offshoot of Judaism.

    Circumcision is not medically necessary and leads to sexually maladjusted adult males. The procedure or custom really is a holdover from a superstitious past and ought to be rejected even by Jews and Muslims.

    • As I said above I know of a case where circumcision was medically ESSENTIAL. Maladjusted adult males? Where did you get that idea from? Islam is a continuation of Christianity and Judaism, yes. The logical conclusion. All prophets came from the same ONE creator of all the worlds.

  2. If comparing many passages in the Quran with the Bible/The Old Testament, it is quite clear that they are much the same. Both Jews and Muslims practice circumcision, as well as halal/kosher, although both are mostly attributed to Muslims when they’re in the news. Christians do not practice either. Circumcision is a barbaric practice and should be banned, in the same way that female genital mutilation (FGM) is not acceptable in the modern world. I applaud Iceland for taking the lead in this.

    • sometimes Renate has strange ideas. There is no comparison between male and female circumcision. And, yes, Muhammad Ahmad said it all.

  3. Before these unsubstantiated comments, please look into the real figures in the USA.

    In USA Muslims and Jews are in Minority but here are statistics:

    Still, among adult males, we’re mostly a circumcised nation: approximately 80 percent of American males are circumcised (non-Hispanic whites: 90 percent; blacks: 73 percent; Mexican-Americans: 42 percent).

    Do not lump it with female circumcision which is rightfully condemned in the USA.

    Nobody can take away hygienic, safe and aesthetic practices of 90% of citizens of USA.

    Urological and pediatric societies have not declared this practice as barbaric or mutilation.
    Multiple benefits have been enumerated by these societies.

    • I know of a Swiss boy who was not circumcised and then he had a medical problem and the doctors told him that he HAS TO undergo circumcision …

  4. Of course there will be instances where a boy needs to be circumcised for medical reasons, which is a totally different matter.

    And female ‘circumcision’ is also different by the nature of biological physical differences, but it is nevertheless also an unnatural and unnecessary practice.

    Both male and female ‘cuttings’ are unnatural, the fact that various people practice it doesn’t make it right. Even some Jewish people are now rejecting it.

    Seeing that it isn’t a Christian practise, I am not sure why it became acceptable in North America. But of course there might well have been a strong Jewish influence.

    Rafiq – I think very logically, am not easily influenced, and don’t have strange ideas just because you think differently on certain matters. That is the beauty of freedom of thought. I would not want to live in a world where I have to think and believe what others would want me to.

  5. Further, there have been many practices which are no longer acceptable. The argument about hygiene and safe and aesthetic practice is something that is promoted to keep it going. Christians seem to have done quite well without this practice, even without high hygiene standards, but even those have also greatly improved, so just ensure that your boys learn about hygiene.

  6. Although not related to the topic under discussion here, I have just signed a petition (and I sign many) to stop child marriage in Kentucky, USA. It is also no longer acceptable for girls as young as 13 to be married off to mostly older men. Periodic change and reform is necessary.

    • Please note that in the USA about 75% population is Christian. The circumcision rate here is about 90%. It is disingenuous to call them barbaric towards their children.

      How can you force your standards upon others? If one thinks it is hygienic, safe and aesthetic, you are nobody to force your opinion upon them.

      Please do a little study. There is definitely reduced incidences of HPV, penile cancer and cervical cancer in this group.

      Reduced female cervical cancer incidence is an additional benefit to women with a circumcised partner.

      Please do not lump female circumcision here. No sane person does this barbaric crime.

      • I in no sense would encourage or even talk about female circumcision. That is out of question but male circumcision is different

  7. The Holy Prophet and his sons were also circumcised. The hadith on male circumcision indicate that this practice is fitra, or the act of a refined person. Thus, since the beginning of Islam, male circumcision has been consid- ered a religious norm. Among the various schools of Islamic thought and believe it to be a practice of the Prophet (saw) and highly recommended, whereas the others believe it to be required but not obligatory. There are some small fringe Muslim sects that reject male circumcision all together because it is not mentioned in the Qur’an. But Scientific America has recently published articles articulating the fact that male circumcision has been proven considerably lower the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease is and greatly induce a habit of cleanliness in circumcised males.

  8. In a recent CNN video clip, in the context of the World AIDS Day, it was documented that the Secretary of State, USA, Hillary Clinton is promoting male circumcision, to prevent HIV infection. World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December every year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. Government and health officials observe the day, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

    Circumcision reduces the risk of STI’s, such as syphilis. It has been claimed by an international team of researchers that have carried out their analysis on a sample of nearly 5,000 heterosexual couples from Uganda and Kenya. Results have confirmed that the removal of the foreskin is associated with a significant decrease in the risk of contracting syphilis (-42%), in particular in males affected by HIV (-62%). The same for their partners that, following their men’s circumcision, have seen diminish their risk of infection by 59%. And by 48% in those affected by the virus. Figures that show the protective effect of the operation from dangerous diseases. Results have been published in The Lancet.

    Aside from its health benefits, I think circumcision transforms a boy to a real man. U.S. health officials on Tuesday released a draft of long-awaited federal guidelines on circumcision, saying medical evidence supports having the procedure done and health insurers should pay for it.
    The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines stop short of telling parent to get their new born sons circumcised. That is a personal decision that may involve religious or cultural preferences, said the CDC’s Dr. Jonathan Mermin. No doubt that medical science has proved that circumcision is a very useful tool against many male
    genital problems.

    But ‘the scientific evidence is clear that the benefits outweigh the risks,’ added Mermin, who oversees the agency’s programs on HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Circumcision for AIDS prevention is increasing rapidly in eastern and southern Africa, according to newly released figures.

    Unaids, the United Nations agency fighting the disease, said about 3.2 million African men had been voluntarily circumcised since word began spreading in 2007 of studies showing that it lowered the risk of infection by about 60 percent. The goal is to circumcise more than 20 million by 2015.

    Many news reports have quoted women saying they believe that circumcised men are “cleaner” or “safer.” Health ministry campaigns encourage that: A poster in Uganda, for example, shows an attractive woman gazing downward in shock, saying, “You mean you’re not circumcised?”

    American taxpayers have paid for about two million procedures through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. A recent report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention looked at 1,600 sites in nine African countries where 536,000 circumcisions were done in 2012. Complications arose in fewer than 1 percent of cases.

    All of those circumcisions were done surgically, although Rwanda announced plans last week to circumcise 700,000 men using PrePex, a new rapid, bloodless and anaesthesia-free method that uses an elastic band.

    The circumcision efforts have also led millions of men to have H.I.V. tests, offered before the procedure. Circumcision is currently recommended for uninfected heterosexual men in countries where more than 1 percent of the population has H.I.V. It does not protect gay men engaged in receptive anal sex, believed to cause most infections in the United States.

    Some infected men who requested circumcisions were given them, a C.D.C. official said. While it did not prevent them from passing on H.I.V., it did protect against other diseases, including HPV, which can cause cervical cancer in women.

    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.

    In many cultures, circumcision is also regarded as being of profound religious significance. In Judaism, for instance, it represents the fulfilment of the covenant between God and Abraham (Genesis 17:10–27), the first divine command of the Pentateuch—that every male child shall be circumcised. That Christians were not obliged to be circumcised was first recorded biblically in Acts 15.[1]

    Advocates of circumcision cite studies indicating that circumcised men have a lower incidence of AIDS, syphilis, and other sexually transmitted diseases than uncircumcised men. In addition, their female partners have a lower risk of cervical cancer. In 2007 the World Health Organization (WHO) reviewed several studies of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in men living in Africa and found that male circumcision reduced their risk of heterosexually acquired infection by significant amounts (ranging from 48 to more than 60 percent). The resulting WHO report recommended that circumcision become a standard tool within comprehensive programs for the prevention of HIV.[1]

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