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April 27, 2018 3:07 pm

US Jewish Group Hails Move by Icelandic Parliamentary Committee to Thwart Proposed Circumcision Ban

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A circumcision ceremony. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

A major US Jewish group has praised an Icelandic parliamentary committee for its recommendation this week that a proposed bill that would ban male circumcision be dismissed.

The move against the legislation was made by the Judicial Affairs and Education Committee of the Icelandic Parliament.

Orthodox Union Executive Vice President Allen Fagin said in a statement on Thursday, “We are extremely gratified that members of the Icelandic government heard our concerns, understood the importance of this issue and responded accordingly. The OU has advocated tirelessly to stop attempts to criminalize Brit Milah around the world and safeguard the universal value of religious freedom. We also thank U.S. Reps. [Ed] Royce and [Eliot] Engel for working with us to convey to the Icelandic government the potential damage such legislation could cause.”

As reported by The Algemeiner, the bill has drawn opposition from Jews around the world. Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, head of the Conference of European Rabbis, said, “The Nazis made such a law in 1933 and we all know how that ended. …This path is not just a violation of the basic human right to freedom of religion or belief, but a sign to every person with a Jewish or Muslim background that they are not wanted in Iceland.”

In an interview with The Algemeiner in February, the Icelandic lawmaker behind the legislation, Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, claimed it did not violate religious freedom.

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