12:09 GMT18 January 2021
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    Iceland is considering taking steps to criminalize circumcision of boys with a punishment of up to six years in prison to those who perform the religious practice.

    The controversial proposal has been put forward in Iceland's parliament but has been met with harsh criticism by religious leaders across Europe.

    Prominent Jewish Rabbis in Europe have voiced their concern about the bill saying it would be an attack on Judaism.

    The legislation is set to be debated in Iceland’s parliament in the coming weeks. 

    The country's Progressive Party MP Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir backed by several other Icelandic politicians is behind the new proposed bill.

    Gunnarsdóttir said that the bill is simply being put forward to protect children. 

    "I stand by that and I say people should be allowed to have their beliefs for themselves but you have to draw the line when it’s about other people. Children should also have their own rights for their own beliefs when they are adults," Gunnarsdóttir said, according to Euronews.

    The proposed circumcision ban has been also debated on social media, with many welcoming it. 

    ​But some felt like the debated ban under consideration is an attack on religious freedoms.

    ​The Catholic community has also slammed the proposed ban. Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, a close adviser of Pope Francis, called the proposed bill "a dangerous attack on religious freedom."

    Cardinal Marx issued a statement expressing his solidarity with members of the Jewish and Muslim communities which practice circumcision as part of their religious traditions.


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