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Denmark is considering a law that would outlaw the first covenant made between God and Abraham: the circumcision. If the bill is approved, Denmark will become the EU’s first country to ban circumcision for boys.

The bill was filed last month in the Danish parliament by Simon Emil Ammitzboll-Bille, a former interior minister and leader of the left-wing Forward party, proposing a ban on non-medical circumcisions. 

“I don’t think cutting little boys should be legal in connection with an old, religious ritual,” Ammitzboll-Bille wrote on Facebook. “That’s my principled stance. That a person’s body belongs to them and that young men should get to decide whether they want to be circumcised. That’s why I am in favor of introducing an age limit of 18 years for non-medical circumcision.”

Jewish tradition mandates circumcision on the eighth day after birth, as per the verse in Genesis.

 And throughout the generations, every male among you shall be circumcised at the age of eight days. Genesis 17:12

In 2018, a citizens’ petition launched by the group Intact Denmark called to outlaw circumcising anyone under the age of 18. The bill acquired 50,000 signatures, a threshold that requires the Parliament to debate and vote on the measure. The petition called for adjusting a law against female genital mutilation that carried a punishment of up to six years in prison to include circumcision of boys. 

In essence, the group views ritual circumcision as a form of child abuse. 

“We think it’s very simple,”  the Socialist People’s Partyhealth spokesperson Kirsten Normann Andersen said about the bill when it was first considered in 2018. “We had no problems deciding to forbid female circumcision, we had no problem scrapping the right for parents to smack children, and now it’s time to get to grips with this issue.” 

Other Nordic nations including Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland are considering similar bans. 

It is already difficult for Denmark’s 9,000 Jews to observe the basic tenets of their religion. In 2014, Denmark outlawed the slaughter of animals without stunning them first, making Jewish ritual slaughter illegal.

The history of the Jews in Denmark goes back to the 1600s and there are currently between 6,400 and 8,500 Jews living there.  The community’s population peaked prior to the Holocaust at which time the Danish resistance movement with the assistance of many ordinary Danish citizens took part in a collective effort to evacuate about 8,000 Jews and their families by sea to nearby neutral Sweden, an act which ensured the safety of almost all the Danish Jews.

As of 2012, tolerance toward the Jewish population in Denmark has become more tenuous due to increasing anti-Israel sentiment and hostility from a growing Muslim immigrant population now numbering over 250,000. In 2015, a shooting occurred outside the main synagogue in Copenhagen, and killed a Jewish man and injured two police officers.


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