ADL Welcomes Icelandic Government's Stance Against Circumcision Ban

New York, NY, April 23, 2018 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the Icelandic government’s recommendation to the parliament for male circumcision to remain legal and its regulation to be consistent with the practice in other Nordic countries.

The government’s recommendation was included in a letter from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs to the parliament.

“Outlawing male circumcision is tantamount to outlawing Jewish communities,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said. “We believe this proposed ban outlawing circumcision would set a dangerous precedent and could spread to other countries across Europe. Circumcision is a fundamental Jewish ritual that has been practiced for centuries.”

In an earlier letter to the parliamentary committee discussing the proposal, ADL expressed vehement opposition on religious freedom grounds and explained that Iceland would be celebrated by anti-Semitic extremists if it went through with the ban.

ADL urged parliamentarians to take into consideration these arguments and other concerns about the proposed ban, including the impact on Iceland’s reputation internationally.

The government’s letter suggests Iceland follow the example of other Nordic countries, which require the involvement of a medical professional and parental consent. ADL believes such regulation does not unduly restrict religious freedom.

The Anti-Defamation League was founded in 1913 to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment to all. Today it is the world’s leading organization combating anti-Semitism, exposing hate groups, training law enforcement on hate crimes, developing anti-bias education programs for students, countering cyber-hate and relentlessly pursuing equal rights for all.