Minister of Health Anne-Grete Strøm-Erichsen is reportedly not going to ban ritual circumcision of boys in Norway.
Norwegian Ministry officials sent a legal proposal to allow ritual neo-natal circumcisions at hospitals out for hearing in May 2011 aimed at preventing the practise going underground. The issue of permitting this is to be discussed in Parliament after the summer recess.
Child Ombudsman Reidar Hjermann has also argued for the imposing of a minimum age requirement of 15.
Whilst tri-partite coalition member the Centre Party (Sp) has officially vetoed the multi thousand-year tradition, the minister told VG, “We’d be the only country in the world to forbid ritual circumcision if we moved for this. I cannot, therefore, think that this will apply.”
A Cologne District Court Judge recently ruled against ritual circumcisions, arguing the procedure constitutes physical harm against infants. The verdict came following a case of a botched circumcision by a Muslim doctor.
The ruling, which southern Germany’s Passau University law professor Holm Putzke stated he thinks is a delay rather than a ban, angered Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, and Protestant religious leaders.
He told Reuters, “I can understand that this verdict has irritated people around the world, but this irritation can be resolved if people look at the reasons for it.”
"Nobody wants to ban religious circumcision in Islam and Judaism, not at all. "It should just be decided by those who undergo it."
Meanwhile, Norwegian Health Ministry advisor Tord Dale explained that the government proposes that a Mohel performs the procedure in hospital supervised by medical staff, with strict hygiene, and pain relief requirements, before the child travels home following birth.
Muslim male circumcisions have no fixed age and are carried out according to familial, regional, and national traditions. Jews circumcise male children on the eight day to recall their covenant with God.
“The most important is that it is carried out in a safe way. A Mohel performs far more of these than most Norwegian doctors do,” said Tord Dale.
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