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Scandinavian Jewish leaders protest Iceland’s proposed circumcision ban

Should Iceland outlaw circumcision for boys – a common practice among Jews and Muslims – it will prevent Jewish communities from being established in the country, Jewish leaders warn.



A bill that would ban the nonmedical circumcision of boys younger than 18 has triggered a strong reaction from the heads of Scandinavian Jewish communities. It was submitted by members of four parties and would also punish offenders with up to six years in prison.



In a joint letter, representatives of Jewish communities and councils in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland warn Iceland against becoming “the only country to ban one of the most central, if not the most central rite in the Jewish tradition, in modern times,” urging it to follow Norway, where right to circumcision is protected by law.



Throughout history, “more than one oppressive regime” tried “to suppress our people and eradicate Judaism by prohibiting our religious practices,” the letter reads.

With around 250 Jews living in Iceland without any organized community, banning the ritual, which is obligatory in Judaism, “will be an effective deterrent and will guarantee that no Jewish community will be established,” the letter warns.

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