The Danes Like Their Men Uncut, And Ugandans Prefer Theirs Cut

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In Denmark, a bill was proposed which would prohibit the circumcision of any men before the age of 15. Ynet reports:

The passing of this law would make the Jewish mitzvah and tradition of circumcising a child on his eighth day a crime. bris.jpg

The country’s Ethics Council supported the proposal and now only the parliament’s medical committee can intervene and prevent the proposal from being heard.

“Circumcision is the irreversible damage to a child’s body before he is given the chance to object,” the National Council for Children argued.

The Council further claimed that the banning of male child circumcision was a matter of equality among the sexes.

“Just like female circumcision was banned five years ago, male circumcision should be banned,” the Council said.

The new proposal caused a storm among the Jewish and Muslim populations in Denmark, with 95% of the 7,000 Jewish population circumcising their sons.

Denmark’s Chief Rabbi Bent Lexner – who is also a certified circumciser in the community – said he hoped the matter would be left alone.

“The comparison between circumcision and the intentional mutilation of the female sex organ in certain societies is simply complete nonsense,” Lexner told Yedioth Ahronoth.

Full story

Meanwhile, Uganda goes in the complete opposite direction and begins drafting a nationwide policy on circumcision. Since circumcision is known to seriously decrease the risk of transmitting HIV, Uganda may be heading towards circumcising all of the men and baby boys born that country. Sam Zaramba, general director of health services, said that the policy “will not be a stand alone strategy” but part of the country’s HIV prevention strategy that emphasizes abstinence, condom use and fidelity.

So…are we going to see the Danish Jewish community transplant to Uganda?

For more on the circumcision controversy, check out our coverage of the debate.

Posted on December 3, 2008
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