Danish coalition partner adopts anti-circumcision motion

(JTA) — A left-wing Danish political party is seeking to outlaw ritual circumcision in Denmark.

The Social Liberal Party, a small coalition partner of Denmark’s ruling Social Democrats party, adopted the anti-circumcision stance this week following an internal vote by delegates during a party congress in Nyborg, 75 miles west of Copenhagen, according to the news site etik.dk.

A large majority of hundreds of delegates from the party — Denmark’s sixth largest with 17 out of 179 seats in parliament — passed the motion to oppose all non-medical circumcision of underage boys, the website reported.

The ban was necessary “because we do not protect those who cannot protect themselves, namely children,” said Christian Holm Donatzky, a local politician for the party from Helsingor, a city located 25 miles north of Copenhagen.

The left-leaning Social Liberal Party is one of several anti-circumcision parties in Scandinavia, where the custom has come under attack from left-wing secularists as well as right-wingers who fear the influence of immigration from Muslim countries.

Last year, Norway’s Centre Party also announced it opposed circumcision as did Finland’s third-largest party, True Finns. The announcements last year followed a ruling by a German court in Cologne that ritual circumcision amounted to a criminal act. The ruling was overturned but triggered temporary bans in Austria and Switzerland.

Lene Rachel Andersen, a well-known Danish Jewish author and journalist, wrote an Op-Ed following the vote August 15, warning that a ban would mean the demise of Danish Jewry. “Within two to three years, religious Jews will move away move from Denmark.” This, she wrote in her Op-Ed for the website religion.dk, will mean “the heart of religious life would disappear.”

In 2003, Denmark’s Children’s Ombudsman, a government body, classified circumcision as a children’s rights violation — a position shared by its counterpart organizations in Finland and Norway.

The World Jewish Congress estimates that there are about 6,400 Jews living in Denmark.

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