Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First Kosher Slaughtering, Now Circumcision

Religious rituals are taking a beating.

I blogged about the situation in the UK where there is a controversy over ritual slaughtering, in part due to the backlash to halal meat being served in restaurants without telling the customers.

Now an issue is being made about the legality of circumcision in Finland:

Finland has decided not to regulate male circumcision. A bill legalising the practice has been in the works for seven years, but Minister of Health and Social Services Paula Risikko has decided not to bring it before Parliament.

In Finland circumcisions are carried out for religious purposes by members of the Jewish, Muslim and Tartar communities. Estimates are that currently about 200 operations are performed annually.
While Finnish law classifies female genital mutilation as serious abuse, no legislation has been passed on the practice concerning boys.

With no clear rules on male circumcision, doctors carrying out the procedure as well as parents may be slapped with abuse charges.
Matters have reached the point where a Muslim mother was convicted in 2006 for circumcising here son. The Supreme Court in Finland eventually dropped the charges--but the chilling effect is unavoidable.

With the Ministry of Health and Social Services having punted after 7 years of deliberations, it is now up to Migration Minister Astrid Thors to put together the guidelines on circumcision for the public health clinics--while many doctors, police officials and NGOs oppose the procedure.

Again, Muslims and Jews find themselves in the same boat.

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